Blenheim Capital Holdings Ltd. v. Lockheed Martin Corp.

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Fighter Jets Case

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in Blenheim Capital Holdings Ltd. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., a case asking whether the purchase of fighter jets and other military equipment is a commercial activity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Despite a circuit split on the question, the Solicitor General recommended that the Supreme Court…

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Solicitor General Recommends Denial of Cert in FSIA Case

Is a foreign government’s purchase of military equipment a “commercial activity” for purposes of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s (FSIA) commercial activity exception? In a brief filed on May 14, 2024, at the Supreme Court’s invitation, the Solicitor General (SG) answered “it depends.” This answer is surprising. It is in considerable tension—if not outright conflict—with…

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Supreme Court Asks for the Views of the Solicitor General in FSIA Case

This morning, the Supreme Court called for the views of the Solicitor General in Blenheim Capital Holdings Ltd. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., a case about the interpretation of Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s (FSIA) commercial activities exception. The Fourth Circuit held that South Korea’s purchases of military aircraft and satellites do not fall within the exception because…

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Cert Petition Highlights Circuit Split on Sovereign Immunity for Military Purchases

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) immunizes foreign states from suit in federal and state court. But it makes an exception for actions based on a foreign state’s commercial activities. The Supreme Court’s leading decision interpreting this exception is Republic of Argentina v. Weltover (1992), where the Court unanimously held “that when a foreign government…

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Is Buying Fighter Jets a Commercial Activity?

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) allows actions against foreign states to be brought in U.S. courts based on their commercial activities. In Republic of Argentina v. Weltover (1992), the Supreme Court held “that when a foreign government acts, not as regulator of a market, but in the manner of a private player within it,…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John F. Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Melissa Stewart

Georgetown University Law Center
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Matt Slovin

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Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
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Will Moon

University of Maryland
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William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
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Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
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Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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