One year ago, President Trump allowed Americans with claims to property confiscated by the Cuban government to sue any entity that “traffics” in that property. But a recent decision by a Florida district court has pruned the list of potential plaintiffs substantially.
John B. Bellinger III is a partner in the international and national security law practices at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC. He is also Adjunct Senior Fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as The Legal Adviser for the Department of State from 2005–2009, as Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council at the White House from 2001–2005, and as Counsel for National Security Matters in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice from 1997–2001.
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I have an op-ed in today’s Washington Post arguing that lifting China's immunity would be a mistake. Here are some excerpts.
One year ago, the Trump administration announced that, for the first time in 23 years, the President would cease to suspend Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and would instead allow U.S. nationals to sue persons and companies that “traffic” in property expropriated by the Cuban government after the start of the Cuban Revolution. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama had suspended Title III from 1996-2017, because they concluded that activation of the provision would produce a flood of complex lawsuits in U.S. courts and cause diplomatic friction with close allies.
Lost in the tumult of the past 10 days over the Suleimani strike was the president’s announcement on Jan. 3 of his intent to nominate a new legal adviser, Ambassador C.J. Mahoney, to replace Jennifer Newstead, who resigned last April to become general counsel of Facebook.
President Trump has doubled down on his threat to bomb Iranian cultural sites if Iran attacks the United States in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani. Administration officials should affirm publicly that the United States will comply with its legal obligations during armed conflicts.
Every American—and especially every member of Congress—should read Judge Webster’s words on the current threat to the rule of law.
At the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 16, a group of former world leaders released a Declaration of Principles aimed at reaffirming shared democratic principles and a rules-based order in response to the rising tide of authoritarianism and anti-democratic trends in many countries.