As Lawfare readers know, ever since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, lower courts have split over how to apply the majority’s cryptic holding that the Alien Tort Statute is presumed not to apply to conduct on the territory of another country, unless the plaintiff’s claims “touch and concern” the United States with sufficient force to overcome that presumption.
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How does the Supreme Court’s October Term 2015 look so far with respect to foreign relations and national security cases? The Court does not have any clear blockbusters like OT 2014’s Zivotofsky v. Kerry. Nevertheless, four potentially significant cases are already on the Court’s docket and cert petitions have been filed in a handful of others.