Seventh Circuit Review


The Roberts Court's expansive interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) has ushered in a new era of pro-arbitration jurisprudence, allowing lower courts to categorically enforce arbitration agreements. Underlying this zealous application is Section 2 of the FAA, which states that arbitration agreements are "valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of a contract."

In Green v. U.S. Cash Advance, Illinois, LLC, the Seventh Circuit enforced an arbitration agreement between a consumer and payday lender, despite the fact that the named arbitration forum had been unavailable since the inception of the agreement. In reaching their conclusion, the majority rejected the integral part test, used by the Third, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, which bars the judicial appointment of a substitute arbitrator when the named arbitration forum was an integral part of the agreement. The dissent also rejected this test but passionately argued that the arbitration clause was unenforceable based on principles of contract law.

This Comment chronicles the passage of the FAA and the Supreme Court's recent arbitration decisions. It discusses the Green case at the district court and appellate levels, and it addresses other circuit court decisions in similar fact situations. This Comment argues that the Seventh Circuit majority made the wrong decision in Green. It also argues that the majority and dissent wrongly rejected the "integral part" test implemented by other circuits when determining whether Section 5 of the FAA can be invoked.

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ExpandingTheScope.mp3 (3813 kB)
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