Five Supreme Court Cases to Watch

Last Updated Aug 27, 2010 5:22 PM EDT

The business-related cases now before the Supreme Court are wide-ranging. Those watching closely include top executives, entrepreneurs, politicians, inventors, and former C-suite guys doing prison time. That's why we put together this package of articles summarizing what you need to know about five cases that could radically reshape businesses of all sizes and types. We likely won't know the outcome of most of these cases until spring 2010.

The first case tackles the post-Enron reform law that companies love to hate: Sarbanes-Oxley. It was put in place to weed out corruption, but businesses argue that dealing with SarbOx is so costly that it can crush them. SarbOx faces its biggest challenge yet. Other cases the court will weigh in on include:


  • Patent law: Is it outdated in this digitally driven, idea-oriented era?

  • Corporate fraud: Is the language that helped take down Conrad Black and Bernard Madoff too broad?

  • Campaign finance: Do corporations have the right to free speech when it comes to politics?

  • Botched pension plans: Who determines how much retirees get?