The Splintered Opinion in Green Tree: A Roadmap Through Arbitration Federalism
October 1, 2003Lori Singer Meyer
In Green Tree v. Bazzle, a case decided in June, 2003, the United States Supreme Court faced the question: does the Federal Arbitration Act2 (FAA) prohibit imposing class proceedings on an arbitration agreement that is silent on the topic of class-wide arbitration? Petitioners wanted the Court to rule that the FAA preempts South Carolina state law allowing a court or arbitrator to impose class proceedings on an arbitration. However, the Court declined to reach a majority decision. Instead, the Court reached a judgment in the case and issued a highly splintered decision: an opinion and a concurrence in the judgment only and two dissents.