Even as it heard argument in a 3d round of Guantánamo litigation -- litigation that took on new wrinkles (here and here) in light of revelations that the CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogations of certain high-value detainees, documents no doubt relevant in detainee cases -- twice last week the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the transnational character of its OT '07 docket.
The 1st of 2 transnational cases the Court's agreed to hear next spring is Philippines v. Pimentel, a dispute over the assets of the onetime dictator of the island state, Ferdinand E. Marcos, who died in 1989 in Hawaii, having fled his country in 1986. (Marcos is pictured above with his wife, Imelda.) At issue, according to SCOTUSblog: "about $35 million held in a Merrill Lynch account for a Panamanian corporation, Arelma S.A." In a 2006 panel decision written by Judge John T. Noonan, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's award of funds to plaintiffs who'd won an Alien Tort Statute class action against the Marcos estate; in so doing, the courts turned back a bid by the Republic of the Philippines to be treated as a party to the litigation. Among the issues at play in the case, in which the United States has entered as amicus in support of the Philippines, is application of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Details on the 2d just-granted case tomorrow.