SCOTUS Nominee Says Antitrust Law Is “Controlled By Precedent”

Seventh Circuit Judge and US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett offered a rare, brief glimpse Wednesday, October 14, into her thinking on federal antitrust law at a time when concerns over big technology companies are drawing attention to the role of competition policy, reported Law360

In an exchange during her confirmation proceedings with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat – Minnesota) the ranking member of the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, Judge Barrett focused specifically on the Sherman Act, the oldest of the United States’ competition laws, and a central focus for those who say current policy has been too lax.

“The text of the Sherman Act, as the court has determined over time, essentially permits the court to develop a common law,” Judge Barrett said. “So I think, you know, I haven’t really had occasion to decide very many antitrust cases on the Seventh Circuit, but it’s an area, because it’s largely been left to judicial development, that is controlled by precedent for the most part.”  

Judge Barrett has not yet inked her name to any competition law opinion or dissent. However, she has sat on several Seventh Circuit panels handling antitrust cases in which the opinions were written by other judges.

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