Main | Thursday, April 18, 2013

SCOTUS Ruling On Foreign Suits May Hurt Ugandan Case Against Scott Lively

The Supreme Court has ruled in a case that may set a precedent regarding the crimes against humanity lawsuit brought by Ugandan LGBT activists against Scott Lively.
The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum that nothing in the Alien Tort Statute of 1789 rebuts the US presumption against extraterritoriality and that suits challenging torture and international law violations that took place overseas cannot be brought in US Court. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion. Kiobel was held over from last term when the court decided, after oral arguments, that the parties should brief on the circumstance when the ATS should apply extraterritorially. On Wednesday the court held that extraterritorial disputes—disputes concerning foreign actors that violate treaties to which the US is a party—cannot be litigated in the US under the ATS, and "sufficient force" is necessary to displace that presumption. The opinion also suggested that "mere corporate presence" will not suffice to bring suit in the US.
The Liberty Counsel is already claiming victory.
Liberty Counsel currently represents Pastor Scott Lively in one such case brought against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda, which calls itself “SMUG.” In its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, SMUG claims that Mr. Lively violated “international law” when he criticized homosexual conduct while visiting Uganda. The Supreme Court has now accepted Liberty Counsel’s argument and has made it the law of the land. On the basis of the just-issued decision in Kiobel, Liberty Counsel has again asked the Massachusetts federal court to dismiss SMUG’s lawsuit. Please pray that today’s decision will soon lead to Mr. Lively’s exoneration and the reaffirmation of the supremacy and portability of the United States Constitution.

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