High Court Limits Reach of Tort Law

Human rights lawyers predict additional litigation over ruling.

, The National Law Journal

   | 3 Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sharply limited the reach of a federal law used to hold corporations and others accountable for human rights abuses committed abroad. But human rights lawyers predicted additional litigation over how much of the federal courthouse door was left ajar.

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What's being said

  • Avon

    I don't get it. Congress conferred jurisdiction of our courts over suits by aliens for "violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." Does Roberts' opinion assume, or contend, that the entire statute is a nullity?

    Why would aliens need a special statute to be able to sue for purely domestic violations? And are any purely domestic torts actually violations of treaties or international law anyway?
    If there's a purely domestic tort, why would plaintiffs who are residents and plaintiffs who are aliens need their separate jurisdictional statutes? And why don't residents/citizens get one?

    As one member of SCOTUS said with derision when questioning counsel recently, "When did the statute become unconstitutional?" - now, or 200 years ago, or never?

  • ELois P. Clayton

    I'm torn, wit this decision, for it appears to show prejudice/favoratism, against ligitimate litigants.

    I'm concerned about(as in cruise injury cases), cases not being able to be tried oversees, because a litigant is not from the country where injuries occur(as the U.S., isn't held responsible for injuries/deaths that occurs AFTER a person is no longer on U.S. soal.

  • Spook

    And the Corporate Court hands the pirates another win - big surprise.

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