Friday, September 30, 2016

Sovereign Immunity Protects the United States the Most

Congress passed a law to allow U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments - specifically, Saudia Arabia, for their possible role in the 9/11 attacks.

President Obama vetoed that bill, on the grounds that the doctrine of "sovereign immunity" - foreign governments are immune from suit in our courts for their government actions - protects us.  If we allow U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments for their acts, that opens the door for foreign citizens to sue the U.S. government.

The United States invades, bombs, and intervenes in more countries than any other - probably more, these days, than all others combined.

Congress overrode President Obama's veto - the first time they have done so.  And immediately the Republican leadership regretted what they had done.

The President is right.  Our self-interest, rightly understood, should lead us to preserve sovereign immunity.


Mac said...

I agree completely. Chalk this up to the Trial Lawyers (plaintiffs' counsel)--those wonderful folks who oppose tort reform. They see nothing bad about surrendering our sovereign immunity in favor of gaining the right to sue the Saudi deep pockets, because if they win, one-third of billions of dollars can lead to early retirement (and their children will never serve in the Armed Forces or be otherwise exposed to the dangers of foreign nations suing the United States).

And don't try to lay this off on just the Republicans--this was an equal opportunity screw-up! The sponsor and chief proponent of the original bill is Senator Chuck Schumer (D. NY), who will be the Majority or Minority Leader, depending on what happens on 8 November. The vote on over-ride in the Senate was 97-1 and in the House 344-77 (or thereabouts).

Gruntled said...

The bill and the veto override were bipartisan, but the immediate, and unseemly, buyer's remorse comes from the Republican leadership.