Adding to a worsening judge shopping crisis, this week the right-wing Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of wealthy private-equity and hedge fund managers that sued to block Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations adopted last year which boost transparency between private fund advisers and investors regarding fees, expenses, and performance; and bans certain practices contrary to the public interest like undisclosed preferential treatment. The Fifth Circuit gave yet another wealthy industry exactly what it wanted after a string of other industry-friendly rulings in its jurisdiction for predatory lenders, discriminatory big banks, greedy credit card issuers – with Big Pharma likely soon to follow. There is no mystery why the corporate-funded U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed lawsuits challenging federal regulations in district courts under the Fifth Circuit’s jurisdiction 63 percent of the time since January 2017, an Accountable.US analysis found.

In the latest case of industry Fifth Circuit judge shopping, the Wall Street Journal reported:

 “Fund managers, including [New York-based] Millennium Management and HBK Capital, formed an industry group in Texas in 2022, allowing them to file the suit in the Fifth Circuit, where Republican judges dominate. They hired Eugene Scalia, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher who previously served as labor secretary under President Donald Trump, to represent them.”

Wall Street hedge fund managers copied the judge-shopping playbook of the corporate-funded U.S. Chamber -- and the right-wing Fifth Circuit once again played along at the expense of everyday Americans. From predatory lenders, to big banks, to Big Pharma, industries determined to preserve their shady practices to pad profits will keep clogging the judicial system with frivolous lawsuits against Biden administration cost-cutting actions so long as the Fifth Circuit continues to reward them for it. The Fifth Circuit remains the go-to jurisdiction of corporations and special interests to plead their case that greed is good, no matter how much it costs everyday families.”

Accountable.US President Caroline Ciccone
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