Poll: Arizonans show broad, bipartisan support for consumer rule

Business News | 13 Oct, 2017 |

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds broad and overwhelming support in Arizona for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) recent rule limiting banks and large corporations like Equifax from using forced arbitration to deny consumers the right to their day in court.

81 percent of Arizona voters support the “forced arbitration” rule to end the use of fine-print “ripoff clauses.” The rule empowers consumers to join together in class action lawsuits taken before a judge or jury rather than being forced into an individual, secretive arbitration process where disputes are decided by an arbitrator approved by the bank or large corporation.

“The Senate, armed with lessons learned from the Equifax and Wells Fargo scandals, must put the interests of active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and American consumers ahead of Wall Street lobbyists and reject efforts to take away our day in court,” said Colonel Lee Lange, USMC retired, president of the Arizona Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

As Senators McCain and Flake consider whether to roll back the forced arbitration rule, more than three in five Arizonans (61 percent) oppose that action, which is wide-ranging across the political spectrum, including majorities of Democrats (63 percent), independents (72 percent), and Republicans (54 percent). In July, the House voted to strike down the rule and its fate lies with the Senate.

Earlier this month, a group of 423 leading law school, university, and college professors in all 50 states, including 12 from Arizona, urged the Senate to uphold the Constitution and preserve Americans’ rights to their day in court in a letter opposing efforts to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new arbitration rule.   

“Companies bury forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of their contracts because they know that Americans would be outraged if they knew that ‘I agree’ means they are giving up their constitutional right of access to the courts,” said Michael J. Saks, Regents Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Department of Psychology at Arizona State University.

The Public Policy Polling results are consistent with national polling conducted by the conservative political action committee, American Future Fund (AFF). Initially, 67 percent of respondents indicated support for the rule, but when told Equifax had used forced arbitration clauses to limit consumer access to the legal system, the share of those supporting the rule rose to 75 percent.

An overwhelming majority of Arizonans are joined by leading bipartisan voices in support of the CFPB arbitration rule, including the American Legion, The Military Coalition, Dean Clancy, the former vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, and Tea Party Nation founder Judd Phillips.

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