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Roger Ailes, left, and Gretchen Carlson, right.Roger Ailes, left, and Gretchen Carlson, right. (Photos via Wikimedia Commons)

Arbitration is having a moment in the spotlight, as former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes tries to use it to push TV anchor Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment claims out of open court.

Arbitration clauses are everywhere: in forms customers sign when buying cellphones, in job applications and even to enter nursing homes. If enforced, no one can go to court, whether claiming that a bank has violated federal law, an employer has discriminated or a nursing home has committed malpractice. Instead, people are shunted into a closed arbitration via one-sided, “take it or leave it” obligations, imposed by the party given the power under current federal law to do so. But the law needs to change.

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