Linde v. Arab Bank, a pending S. Ct. case, is a multibillion dollar case. It’s an intricate one involving terrorism, claims on behalf of terrorist victims, bank secrecy laws, tax evasion, foreign policy, diplomacy, and the role of the Executive branch in judicial decisions. It also has the potential of violating the rights of terrorist victims.
Unfortunately, both the State Dept. and now perhaps the Obama administration are promoting arguments that might bar Americans injured in terrorist actions from following the money trail to impose liability. The State Dept. needs to get its priorities in order. Helping American terrorist victims should be the top priority and not some fuzzy diplomatic goal. Jordanian and Saudi banks have long been critical in supporting terrorist actions.
What needs to be done is obvious. Let the federal courts impose costs on those supporting terrorism. Judicial sanctions can be more effective than merely words. This is not judicial intervention into the foreign policy process but judicial support of stated objectives.
The Supreme Court needs to get this right. It needs to impose real sanctions on foreign financial institutions and not be blocked by foreign bank secrecy laws.