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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
The court heard argument Tuesday in a dispute between wireless provider AT&T Mobility and a California couple who objected to being charged around $30 in sales tax for what they were told was a free cell phone.
Like many such contracts, the fine print of the agreement between AT&T and Liza and Vincent Concepcion calls for all disputes to be settled by arbitration and prohibits customers from joining forces in a class-action. The federal appeals court in San Francisco said that ban is unenforceable under California law.
Slate.com: Can You Hear Them Now? The Supreme Court reads the fine print on your cell phone contract.11/10/10
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is debating a ban on menthol cigarettes as their slightly minty taste can cover up tobacco's harshness. That touched off a firestorm of debate within the African-American community. About 80 percent of black smokers prefer menthol cigarettes compared with 22 percent of white smokers. The civil rights group Congress of Racial Equality says a ban would be unfair, but the NAACP disagrees. Host Michel Martin speaks with John Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Deron Snyder who has written about this issue.
In a dispute that could affect consumers nationwide, the Supreme Court took up a case Tuesday revolving around the terms of a cellphone contract and testing when disgruntled customers can file a class-action lawsuit rather than be forced to arbitrate out of court.