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Subject: Congress Overrides Obama Veto rss

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Chris Binkowski
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http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/senate-overrides-obama-v...

A lot of Democrats were on-board with this too.
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Wendell
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Yep. It's a bad idea, IMO.
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True Blue Jon
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How do citizens of the USA sue Saudi Arabia? Has a citizen of one nation ever sued another nation before?
 
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jeremy cobert
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Sarxis wrote:
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/senate-overrides-obama-v...

A lot of Democrats were on-board with this too.


Except good old dirty Harry Reid who valiantly stood up for the terrorists.

Anyway, election year arm twisting here for both sides.
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Chapel
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Ron
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quozl wrote:
How do citizens of the USA sue Saudi Arabia? Has a citizen of one nation ever sued another nation before?


Some quick reading for you.

http://articles.philly.com/2008-06-02/news/24990158_1_foreig...

Quote:
Law's exceptions allow citizens to sue foreign nations
By Chris Mondics
Posted: June 02, 2008

-----------------------

While the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act broadly protects foreign governments against lawsuits filed by U.S. citizens, the act provides exemptions, and federal judges have allowed suits to proceed in two notorious cases involving state-sanctioned assassinations.

In one, the survivors of Orlando Letelier, former Chilean ambassador to the United States, were allowed to sue the Chilean government after it was established in criminal proceedings that Letelier had been killed in a Washington bombing involving four operatives and senior officials of the Chilean intelligence services and two Cuban exiles.

In the other, the widow of Henry Liu, a Chinese journalist and critic of the Taiwan government, was allowed to sue Taiwan after a federal court ruled that her husband had been slain in California by two Chinese gang members acting for Adm. Wong Hsi-ling, former director of Taiwan's Defense Intelligence Bureau.

A federal judge in Washington found in the Letelier case that Chile did not qualify for immunity because the assassination plot had been carried out by intelligence operatives targeting critics of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

In his ruling, the judge said a foreign government "has no discretion to perpetrate ... action that is clearly contrary to the precepts of humanity as recognized in both national and international law."

In the Liu case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reached a similar conclusion, setting a high - but not insurmountable - bar for suing foreign governments in cases of egregious government conduct.

While the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provides foreign governments with blanket immunity from lawsuits filed by the U.S. government, it permits suits filed by private parties under certain circumstances and one significant condition:

Plaintiffs must show that whatever harm was caused was the result of criminal behavior or some other action outside the boundaries of normal government operations.

Once that high hurdle is cleared, U.S. citizens can sue under circumstances, including:

Cases of personal injury or death, or damage to or loss of property, occurring in the United States if caused by negligent acts of omission or commission by a foreign government.

Cases of personal injury or death caused by an act of torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking, or the provision of material support or resources for such an act, if the foreign state is designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Such was the case with Libya, which sponsored the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, killing 270 people.

When a relative of one victim first sued Libya, a federal court in New York threw out the suit, citing the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Families of Pan Am victims then lobbied Congress and won passage of the exemption citing aircraft sabotage and other criminal acts.

With that provision of the law in place, the families sued again and won. Libya negotiated a $2.7 billion settlement, most of which has been paid out.


I can't speak to why this new law was required. I'm not keeping up with any particulars. Sorry.
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Corey Hopkins
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The fact that the only two guys in town that oppose this are done running for office should speak volumes.
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Wendell
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linguistfromhell wrote:


I can't speak to why this new law was required. I'm not keeping up with any particulars. Sorry.


It was to allow families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts.

I'm very very sympathetic to the families of victims. But this is still bad law.
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Mac Mcleod
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What a stupid moronic short sighted move by congress.
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Michael Carter
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I love all of the politicians explaining why the bill is bad and then proceeding to vote for it.
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J
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There are so many ways this law will end up screwing us.

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MGK
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yeah, there's no chance other countries pass "no fuck YOU" revenge legislation in their countries allowing their citizens to sue the USA for, oh, fouled up bombings or drone attacks or what have you

no chance at all
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David desJardins
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quozl wrote:
How do citizens of the USA sue Saudi Arabia? Has a citizen of one nation ever sued another nation before?


Yes, there's always been plenty of room for citizens of the US to sue other governments. Previous law has required the target of the lawsuit actually engage in acts within the United States. This new law will allow lawsuits over actions entirely within other countries, so long as they led to harm within the United States.

I think the bar should probably be higher than this law will set it at, but ultimately it's not that big a deal. If other countries retaliate with similar laws, well, maybe Americans *should* bear some responsibility for their actions that harm people in other countries. The system will work itself out.

The most salient danger is that the US judicial system can be used for fishing expeditions, or to advance other purposes than actual compensation for harm. Some foreign government shouldn't be subject to a huge default judgment just because they decline to produce all sorts of documents or records that a US judge may be willing to grant discovery for. It's surprising that Republicans ended up strongly supporting a bill that favors their enemies, the trial lawyers. But they were for it mostly because Obama was against it. Plus, obviously, suing sponsors of terrorism *sounds* good, and the victims are sympathetic.
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Oldies but Goodies ... Avalon Hill and
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This is the state of American government in a nutshell. The only thing both sides can agree on is that political grandstanding is a great idea, and consequences be damned because some future Congress or future administration will have to deal with them.

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Boaty McBoatface
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So what about checks and balances, is this not how your system is not supposed to operate?
 
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Christopher Seguin
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slatersteven wrote:
So what about checks and balances, is this not how your system is not supposed to operate?


In this particular case, the "checks and balances" worked pretty damn good.

Congress, the Legislative Branch, passed a law. It took both houses of Congress to pass the law with a majority of the vote in each house. At that point, it requires the signature of the President, as head of the Executive Branch, to sign it into law. However, he can also veto it from becoming a law, or do nothing and let it automatically become a law.

That's the first part of the "checks and balances". The second part kicks in when a "vetoed" bill goes back to Congress. If a "super majority" (I think 60%) in each separate branch of Congress then votes in favor of a vetoed bill, then the veto is "overridden" and the bill passes and becomes law.

The reason for the veto override ability in Congress is to prevent scenarios whereby a sitting president of one party to pretty much nixes EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING presented to him by a Congress led by the opposing party.

In the end, too, the Judicial Branch may eventually sort the situation out as well, depending on whether this law ever has a chance to come before the US Supreme Court to determine if it jives with the Constitution. I don't know if it will ever make it that far, but it could. That's "Part 2" of the checks and balances.
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Wendell
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slatersteven wrote:
So what about checks and balances, is this not how your system is not supposed to operate?


The actions of Congress were completely legal.

But they were also stupid and short-sighted.

Ah well, this is one bit of proof that the Pentagon doesn't ALWAYS get what it wanted. It strongly opposed this bill.
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J
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wifwendell wrote:
Ah well, this is one bit of proof that the Pentagon doesn't ALWAYS get what it wanted. It strongly opposed this bill.

And Obama. It will be interesting to see how the people that say Obama has always gotten everything he wanted from Congress spin this one.
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non sequitur
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jmilum wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ah well, this is one bit of proof that the Pentagon doesn't ALWAYS get what it wanted. It strongly opposed this bill.

And Obama. It will be interesting to see how the people that say Obama has always gotten everything he wanted from Congress spin this one.


Oh, it probably ends with "haha we showed that fucker for once, but OTHERWISE he runs rampant!"
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Boaty McBoatface
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Terwox wrote:
jmilum wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Ah well, this is one bit of proof that the Pentagon doesn't ALWAYS get what it wanted. It strongly opposed this bill.

And Obama. It will be interesting to see how the people that say Obama has always gotten everything he wanted from Congress spin this one.


Oh, it probably ends with "haha we showed that fucker for once, but OTHERWISE he runs rampant!"
Moe likely "this is another example of how he cannot get anything done.

Jug Ears, the first US president to get everything he wants by getting nothing done.
 
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Ron
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Previous law has required the target of the lawsuit actually engage in acts within the United States. This new law will allow lawsuits over actions entirely within other countries, so long as they led to harm within the United States.

This is what I was missing. Thanks for the clarification, David.
 
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J.D. Hall
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galad2003 wrote:
Congress did something right?


Nope, but thanks for playing.
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