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in a 5-4 decision, the justices vacated a ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court that held that, where an agreement is silent as to class arbitration, it may still be ordered by the court if the order doesn’t result in prejudice. Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzle, No. 02-634. According to the justices, an arbitrator must determine whether a contract forbids class arbitration. In a case in which the parties had agreed to submit to the arbitrator all disputes arising from the contract, they have agreed that an arbitrator, not a judge, would answer all relevant questions. Breyer’s opinion was joined by Scalia, Souter, Ginsburg and Stevens. Rehnquist’s dissent was joined by O’Connor, Kennedy and Thomas.

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