Justice as usual
By John Simons

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Armies of the left and right are massing for the battle over President Bush's new Supreme Court nominee (or nominees--plural--if Chief Justice Rehnquist also resigns). But don't be surprised if one group is largely absent: big business. Turns out the White House has already assured the corporate lobby and its battalion of lobbyists that no matter which particular brand of conservative the nominee is, he or she will have strong pro-business leanings. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in fact, has been consulting with the White House on judicial matters since Bush's first term. Over the past five years the Chamber has analyzed appellate court decisions in six areas--civil rights, employment, federal jurisdiction and preemption, insurance, workplace injury, and liability issues--and has presented its data to White House officials. Its findings: The nation's judiciary is more pro-business than ever. Says Stan Anderson, the Chamber's chief legal officer: "Most of the judges and jurisdictions get passing grades--even the Carter nominees." Though the Chamber and the National Association of Manufacturers have formed committees to review Bush's nominee, they're likely to rubber-stamp his pick. Says NAM president John Engler: "I think this [nomination process] is actually going to go quite smoothly." -- John Simons