Dow had planned to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, confident that the high court’s consistent 5-4 split (with Scalia’s considerable weight favoring business and other conservative causes regardless of the precedent or even logic involved) would play out in their favor. Upon news of the famously hard line conservative judge’s death, however, Dow quickly did an about face and decided to accept a slightly lower settlement of $835 million and be done with it, rather than take their chances with a tie in the Supreme Court, which would by default uphold the lower court’s ruling.
“The U.S. Supreme Court draws the line at child slavery,” as the website Legal Reader put it so succinctly. “Like most slavery operations, cocoa slavery victims are drawn from nearby poor countries with false advertising promising a good job and enough income to send money home. The slaves are boys who, like all slaves, are immediately “broken”–broken physically and mentally—to make them docile. Boys who are rebellious or are caught trying to escape tend to disappear.”