More than 400 law school and university professors from all 50 states today sent a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing efforts to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new arbitration rule. “Class action lawsuits are an important means of protecting consumers harmed by violations of federal or state law,” the professors wrote. “Class actions enable a court to see that a company’s violations are widespread and to order appropriate relief.” Citing the CFPB’s study of class actions and arbitration in consumer financial cases, the letter notes that “over five years, 160 million class members were awarded $2.2 billion in relief -- after deducting attorneys’ fees.” In contrast, in arbitration, “an average of only 16 consumers per year received relief from affirmative claims and another 23 received relief through counterclaims.” In July, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution to block the arbitration rule.