In Samantar, the petitioners have sued a former Somali leader in the U.S. for human rights violations that occurred in Somalia, and the Fourth Circuit has held that an exception to foreign official immunity allows them to do so.
Wuerth agrees with the Solicitor General that the Supreme Court should vacate the Fourth Circuit’s opinion and remand the case. However, she disagrees with the administration’s argument on the extent of its power to define immunity.
“The Solicitor General’s brief argues that the Executive Branch has absolute control over the development of the common law of foreign official immunity, as well as the application of that common law in particular cases,” she writes. “The argument is both expansive and unconvincing.”
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