Opinion in Kadi v. Geithner

By Wells Bennett
Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 2:28 PM

Yesterday, Judge John Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the government’s motion for summary judgment in the case of Kadi v. Geithner.  Yassin Abdullah Kadi, a Saudi and a self-described businessman and philanthropist, had protested both his designation by the Treasury Department as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” and Treasury’s blocking of his assets under U.S. jurisdiction.  Before Judge Bates, Kadi claimed violations of the Administrative Procedures Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.  The judge concluded that the administrative record--classified and unclassified--adequately supported Treasury’s actions against Kadi.  And he also rejected Kadi’s statutory and constitutional claims, both on jurisdictional grounds and on the merits.

The district court’s ruling  marks a defeat for Kadi; in that respect, it contrasts with his partial victories in litigation outside the United States.  He had been subjected to restrictive measures by the Council of the European Union, pursuant to regulations implementing the United Nations’ counterterrorism sanctions regime.  But European courts - the European Court of Justice, in 2008, and a lesser European court, the General Court, in 2010 - agreed with Kadi’s challenges to those regulations and found the regulations incompatible with European law.  Such challenges, moreover, advanced arguments similar to those Kadi made unsuccessfully to Judge Bates.  In both district court and European proceedings, for example, Kadi cited his inability to review secret evidence that allegedly supported the sanctions levied against him.