Supreme Court

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…

Continue Reading

Second Circuit Hears Halkbank Oral Argument

On February 28, 2024, the Second Circuit heard oral argument in United States v. Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. From the judges’ questions—which admittedly came almost exclusively from Judge Bianco—the panel seems likely to hold that Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank, is not immune under federal common law from criminal prosecution for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. That…

Continue Reading

Are Social Media Algorithms “Passive Nonfeasance”? What Twitter v. Taamneh Got Wrong

In the recent case of Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that Facebook, Twitter, and Google knowingly provided assistance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in connection with its attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey in 2017. The plaintiffs, family…

Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Extraterritorial Wire Fraud Case

The Supreme Court denied cert this morning in Elbaz v. United States, a case involving the extraterritorial reach of the federal wire fraud statute. The order lets stand a decision of the Fourth Circuit holding that the wire fraud statute could be applied to a scheme to defraud investors centered in Israel based on two…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Will the Supreme Court Resolve the Circuit Split on the Geographic Scope of Wire Fraud Statute?

The federal wire fraud statute is a workhorse for federal prosecutors. In 2021, there were more than 4,500 federal prosecutions for fraud, theft, or embezzlement, constituting 8% of federal criminal cases. The wire fraud statute is particularly important in transnational fraud cases, because communicating with people in the United States using U.S. wires is considered…

Continue Reading

The New (Old) Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

The reach of U.S. law keeps changing. For decades—in fact, off and on for more than a century—U.S. courts have turned to the presumption against extraterritoriality to determine the geographic scope of federal statutes. When the presumption changes, so does the reach of U.S. law. And the presumption has changed a lot lately. Most recently,…

Continue Reading

Thoughts on the Respondent’s Brief in Great Lakes

In a prior post, I surveyed the facts, procedural history, and potential significance of Great Lakes Insurance SE v. Raiders Retreat Realty Co., LLC, an upcoming Supreme Court case about the enforceability of choice-of-law clauses in maritime insurance contracts. In a subsequent post, I shared some thoughts about the brief filed by the petitioner, Great Lakes Insurance SE (GLI). In this…

Continue Reading

When Is International Law a Political Question?

In a provocative essay posted on SSRN, The Political Question Doctrine and International Law, TLB Advisor Curt Bradley looks at the historical relationship between the political question doctrine and international law, arguing that “the political question doctrine emerged in part to allow the political branches, rather than the courts, to make determinations about this country’s—and…

Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds that Trademark Statute Applies Only to Domestic Conduct

Last week, in Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc., the Supreme Court held that the federal trademark statute—known as the Lanham Act—applies only to domestic conduct infringing U.S. trademarks. The case involved foreign companies that put U.S.-protected trademarks on products that they made in Europe, most of which were sold to customers abroad, but…

Continue Reading

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

Matt Slovin

Bio | Posts

Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
Bio | Posts

Will Moon

University of Maryland
Bio | Posts

William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
Bio | Posts

Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
Bio | Posts

Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Bio | Posts

Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Bio | Posts

Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Bio | Posts

Ben Köhler

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
Bio | Posts

Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
Bio | Posts