Posted by JD Supra
Will Kavanaugh’s “Modern Approach” Change The Trajectory of Supreme Court Antitrust Jurisprudence?
By Womble Bond Dickinson
In my last post, I discussed one of *Judge Kavanaugh’s antitrust opinions, in which he argued for a “modern approach” to antitrust law. Others have similarly commented on Kavanaugh’s willingness to modernize antitrust law by discarding outdated precedent and creating clear guidelines. Professor Stephen Calkins notes that “modern” appears six times in Kavanaugh’s dissent in Anthem and four times in Whole Foods. In the latter case, Kavanaugh critiques older antitrust cases as “relics” with “loose” or “free-wheeling” analysis. According to Kavanaugh modern approach, antitrust cases that have not “stood the test of time,” should be pushed “to the jurisprudence sidelines.”
Would this “modern approach” to antitrust law change direction of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence? It is hard to say. After all, Justice Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh is nominated to replace, was himself a modernizer of antitrust law.
Justice Kennedy authored the majority opinion in Brooke Group v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco, which heightened the standards for predatory pricing. Kennedy held that a plaintiff must show that a defendant’s price was below cost and that the defendant would be able to raise prices and “recou...