A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Supreme Court to hear Iran compensation, Navy sonar cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Monday agreed to hear seven cases [Order List, PDF], including Ministry of Defense and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. Elahi (07-615) [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. In that case, the Court will consider whether the brother of dissident Cyrus Elahi, assassinated in Paris in 1990, can collect on a default judgment he holds against Iran by attaching a $2.8 million judgment obtained by the Iranian Ministry of Defense against California-based Cubic Defense Systems [corporate website]. Dariush Elahi was awarded $11.7 million in compensatory and $300 million in punitive damages after Iran refused to respond to his 2000 lawsuit brought in a Washington federal court, alleging that the Iranian government was responsible for his brother's death. Iran originally won the $2.8 million judgment against Cubic before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) [official website] for Cubic's contract breach following the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 [BBC backgrounder]. AP has more.

In Winter, et al. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al. (07-1239) [docket; cert. petition], the Court will review a Ninth Circuit ruling rejecting the Bush administration's attempt to exempt the US Navy from environmental laws [JURIST reports] so that the Navy could continue using sonar in its anti-submarine warfare training off the coast of southern California. In its petition for certiorari, the Justice Department argued that the decision interferes with the Navy's ability to prepare for war, that national security interests should override environmental regulations, and that there is no evidence to support the claim that the sonar exercises harm marine wildlife. The Natural Resources Defense Council [advocacy website], which filed the lawsuit seeking to halt Navy sonar use due to harm caused to whales and other marine mammals, published a 2005 paper on the impact of sonar on marine wildlife [NRDC materials]. AP has more.

The Court also granted certiorari in five other cases Monday. In Pacific Bell Telephone Co., dba AT&T California v. LinkLine Communications (07-512) [docket; cert. petition], the Court will consider whether a company can be sued for anti-competitive practices if it sets its wholesale prices to block competitors from the retail market. In AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen (07-543) [docket; cert. petition], the Court will consider whether maternity leave taken before the passage of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act can be considered in calculating employee pensions. In Cone v. Bell (07-1114) [docket; cert. petition], the Court will consider a case brought by a Tennessee death row inmate who alleges that authorities hid mitigating evidence during his murder trial. In Arizona v. Johnson (07-1122) [docket; cert. petition], the Court will consider whether a police officer may search a suspect during a routine traffic stop if he believes that suspect may be armed and dangerous but has no justifiable reason to believe that they are committing a crime. In Harbison v. Bell (07-8521) [docket; cert. petition], the Court will consider whether indigent death row inmates are entitled to federally-provided counsel in their pursuit of clemency claims.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.