Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Julian Ku on Pasquantino v. US

Julian Ku at Opinio Juris points out, here, that the recent wire tap-foreign tax law case handed down by the Supreme Court, Pasquantino v. US, raises United States v. Curtiss-Wright, famous for the proposition that the President is the "sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations." Read Julian's full post to understand why this is potentially important in the midst of cases - many surrounding the war on terror, detainees, and so on - in which the executive is asserting precisely this kind of authority.

I would add that it is a proposition that, if really resurrected, would have a significant impact on Alien Tort Statute cases, either if the executive began intervening more aggressively in those cases or, alternatively, if defendants (more and more often defendant corporations) began arguing more aggressively that US federal courts are required to apply the government's understanding of the meaning of international law, whether in the interpretation of treaties or customary international law.

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