In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litigation

659 F. Supp. 2d 31 (2009)

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In re Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorism Litigation

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
659 F. Supp. 2d 31 (2009)

Facts

In the 1990s, numerous victims of acts of terrorism (the victims) (plaintiffs) sued the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) (defendant) for providing material support or resources to terrorist organizations. Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), Iran was a designated state sponsor of terrorism that was deemed to have waived its sovereign immunity to civil suit. The victims obtained billions of dollars in final court judgments against Iran, which, for the most part, were unsatisfied. Iranian assets in the United States were largely unavailable for attachment. In 2008, Congress passed a new law, 28 U.S.C. § 1605A, that provided a favorable new avenue of relief for plaintiffs against state sponsors of terrorism. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia was then presiding over suits involving over one thousand individual victims who were unable to enforce their judgments. As a matter of case management, the district court had to consider whether § 1605A impermissibly interfered with judicial functions and the victims’ final judgments in violation of Article III of the Constitution.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lamberth, C.J.)

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