From early historical jurisprudence, courts have recognized the "timeless and universal human appeal"2 of the presumption against the retroactive application of newly enacted statutes and rules. This principle, as a result, has perpetually been "a solid foundation of American law."3 In Nielsen, however, the court challenged this principle and retroactively applied a National Association of Security Dealer's ("NASD") rule change barring any agreements to arbitrate putative class actions.4 Effectively distinguishing this case from precedent which arrived at a different result, the Nielsen decision remains consistent with relevant precedent and, significantly, does not violate fundamental notions of justice.
Douglas M. Worley,
Retroactive Application of Rule Changes: Arbitration Agreements May Be Circumvented - Nielsen v. Greenwood,
1996 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol1996/iss1/16