Orlando, FL 32807
- Ambassador John Bolton, American Enterprise Institute
From the time he entered office after being tapped by Boris Yeltsin to succeed him, President Vladimir Putin’s overarching objective was to consolidate power – at home and abroad. From earlier focuses on the Russian economy and quashing internal rivals, President Putin now seeks to recover geo-strategic assets lost in the Soviet collapse, which he called “the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the 20th century.”
President Putin's adventurism in the “post-Soviet space” was previously limited to cyber-activities in the Baltics, widespread regional economic and security pressure, and the 2008 invasion of Georgia. But in 2014 he aimed far higher by invading and annexing Crimea and then destabilizing eastern Ukraine. The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine has caused the West to re-assess its overall approach to Russia.
What is President Putin up to? How far will he go? What should the United States do to deter President Putin's ambitions to make Russia the dominant power in Eurasia? And what are our European allies willing to do?
On June 16, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital. The question in this case is whether post-judgment discovery in aid of enforcing a judgment against a foreign state can be ordered with respect to all assets of a foreign state regardless of their location or use, as held by the Second Circuit, or is limited to assets located in the United States that are potentially subject to execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq., as held by the Seventh, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits.
In an opinion issued by Justice Scalia, the Court affirmed the Second Circuit by a vote of 7-1 (Justice Sotomayor not participating), holding that no provision in the FSIA immunizes a foreign-sovereign judgment debtor from postjudgment discovery of information concerning its extraterritorial assets. Justice Ginsburg dissented.
To discuss the case, we have Prof. Michael D. Ramsey, Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law, Director, International & Comparative Law Programs, University of San Diego School of Law as well as Professor Thomas Lee, the Leitner Family Professor of International Law, Director Graduate and International Studies, Fordham University School of Law.
On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bond v. U.S. The Court did not avail itself of the opportunity to decide an important issue: Do the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations? Instead, the Court resolved the case using statutory interpretation. How important is the decision? What can be gleaned from the Court’s decision?