[JURIST] US District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram has dismissed several lawsuits that sought to block reparations for Austrian Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Last month, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled [PDF decision] that the claims should be dismissed [NY Law Journal report] under the political question doctrine, because the compensation agreement had been specifically negotiated by the US government. The appeals court said that the negotiated arrangement is superior to litigation and advances important US foreign policy interests. Under the agreement [backgrounder], brokered during the last days of the Clinton administration, the Austrian government will pay $210 million to up to 19,000 victims or their heirs. Judge Kram dismissed the lawsuits Wednesday and initial payments could begin early next year. AP has more.