T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Laster
The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides that arbitration agreements are enforceable “save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2. Class-action bans — contract provisions that prohibit classwide proceedings, whether in litigation or arbitration — have been held to be unconscionable in some circumstances under the generally applicable contract law of some states. In this case, the T-Mobile filed a petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court to consider whether state unconscionability law is preempted by the FAA when the class-action ban to which it is applied is embedded in an arbitration agreement. Public Citizen was co-counsel for the respondents at the cert stage, and the Supreme Court denied cert. In a later case, AT&T v. Concepcion, the Court considered this issue and ruled that mandatory arbitration provisions can be used to block consumers from brining class actions.