The 1925 Federal Arbitration Act, however, has more or less been interpreted by U.S. Supreme Court decisions to bind contracting parties to arbitration if their contract contains a binding arbitration clause -- thus closing off suits in courts of law. This "forced" arbitration is spreading in consumer contracts.
Many contracts contain such a clause in the fine print, and there is no arms-length bargaining about it in most cases. Parties are thus stuck to arbitration, even if they do not want to waive a process in a court of law after a dispute has actually arisen subsequent to the signing of the contract.
Chris Morran has the story at the Consumerist in Bill Aims To Restore Consumers’ Legal Rights Stripped Away By Supreme Court Rulings – Consumerist, writing:
"Today [February 4, 2016], Sen. Patrick Leahy from Vermont and Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota announced the Restoring Statutory Rights Act [PDF], states that the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act “did not, and should not have been interpreted to, supplant or nullify the legislatively created rights and remedies which Congress… has granted to the people of the United States for resolving disputes in State and Federal courts.”"Read the full story here.