WHAT HAPPENED?

This case arose out of a wrongful death lawsuit against Iran for deaths caused by terrorism.  After a judgment was issued in favor of Plaintiffs, the Plaintiffs were unable to collect money to satisfy the judgment via traditional means.  Even though Iran had 2 billion dollars of funds in a New York bank, Federal law precluded plaintiffs from attaching those funds.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?

To compensate Plaintiffs for their injuries, Congress passed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act which allowed these specific Plaintiffs to obtain these specific funds.  This Act has been contested as an unconstitutional breach of the Separation of Powers doctrine, which disallows one branch of government from stepping on the toes of another branch of government.  This Act also could be construed as an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder, which prevents Congress from passing a law that only affects one specific person.

WHAT IS THE RULING

This case is not yet decided.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?

Presumably, if the law is struck down the Supreme Court will likely draw the ire of Congress and the President, who support the statute.  If the law is upheld, one would assume that Iran wouldn’t be super pumped about it, and this bodes fairly poorly for other sovereign nations who have either money or property within the U.S. under the expectation that it is protected from domestic attachments.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR BANK MARKAZI IF YOU

Love the Founding Fathers and would like to see the current government have egg on their face.   You are also probably ignoring all the terrorism implications.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE PETERSON IF YOU:

Love the Patriot Act and don’t mind pissing off Iran.  You are also probably ignoring all the Constitutional implications.

 

 

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