Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Credit card late fees and the Constitution
A surprising juxtaposition, one might think. But Seana Shiffrin argues that the Supreme Court's punitive damages jurisprudence leads to the conclusion that such late fees are unconstitutional if they're too high, since they can only be imposed by legislative abrogations of the traditional rule against punitive damages in contract. So while others have decried the consumer protection implications of recent Supreme Court cases, she has turned the argument around against big business, much as some RIAA defendants have claimed that copyright's statutory damages provisions are unconstitutional under the same precedents.