Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saddam Hussein's U.S. Torture Victims in Persian Gulf War Thwarted by Bush From Suing Iraq for Damages in Federal Court

Per BNA's U.S. Law Week, June 9, 2009:

Victims of Saddam Hussein's abuse during and after the 1991 Persian Gulf War may not pursue tort claims against Iraq, the U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously. President Bush validly exercised his statutory authority to shield Iraq from such claims, the court holds.

The plaintiffs invoked an exception in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act that lifts foreign states' general immunity with respect to damages claims when plaintiffs bring torture-related claims against designated state sponsors of terrorism. But the court says that Bush properly invoked provisions enacted in 2003 and 2008 to bar that exception's application to claims against Iraq, and thus deprive federal courts of subject matter jurisdiction.


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