Case Detail

Iraq v. Beaty
On June 8, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to permit Americans who were tortured by Saddam Hussein's regime to sue Iraq for their damages. The Americans include U.S. military personnel held by Iraq as prisoners-of-war. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief (on behalf of 11 Members of Congress) urging that the suit be permitted to proceed. WLF argued that Congress abrogated Iraq's sovereign immunity from such suits because of Iraq's status as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Disagreeing with WLF's position, the Court held that although Congress in 1996 had passed a law authorizing torture claims against countries (such as Iraq) that sponsored terrorism, Congress later adopted a law that authorized the President to bar such suits against Iraq. The President did just that in 2003; and later congressional statements asserting that the Congress had not intended to grant the President such power do not negate the President's clear authority to act, the Court held.
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3/30/2009: Download the Brief

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