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Sovereignty

Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-11-16 featuring Mark Chenoweth
Mark Chenoweth March 11, 2016

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez. This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The case presents two questions for the Supreme Court: (1) whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, including in a class action, and (2) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had held that Gomez’s individual and class claims were not mooted, and that Campbell-Ewald was not entitled to derivative sovereign immunity.

By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit, holding that (1) an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff's case, so the district court retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiff’s complaint, and (2) a federal contractor is not entitled to immunity from suit for its violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it violates both federal law and the government's explicit instructions. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgement. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia and Alito joined. Justice Alito also filed a dissenting opinion.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.

Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-12-16 featuring Scott Broyles
D. Scott Broyles February 12, 2016

On January 13, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle. Sanchez Valle was charged by Puerto Rico prosecutors with the illegal sale of weapons and ammunition without a license in violation of Puerto Rico law.  While that charge was pending, he was indicted by a federal grand jury for the same offense, based on the same facts, under federal law. He pled guilty to the federal indictment but sought dismissal of the Puerto Rico charges on Double Jeopardy grounds, arguing that Puerto Rico is not a separate sovereign. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico agreed but the Commonwealth appealed.

The question now before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the federal government are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution.

To discuss the case, we have Scott Broyles, who is Professor at Charlotte School of Law.

Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 11-11-15 featuring Mark Chenoweth
Mark Chenoweth November 11, 2015

On October 14, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez.

This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. 

Three questions are before the Court. The first is whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, and the second is whether the answer to that changes if the plaintiff is attempting to bring a class action. The third question is whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.

Dealing with Putin’s Russia: What is the Best Approach? - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Brian H. Hook, Heather Hurlburt August 05, 2014

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?

  • Hon. Brian H. Hook, Founder, Latitude, LLC and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
  • Ms. Heather Hurlburt, Senior Fellow in National Security, Human Rights First

Argentina Bond Case Decided by U.S. Supreme Court - Podcast

International & National Security Law and Litigation Practice Groups Podcast
Michael D. Ramsey, Thomas H. Lee June 19, 2014

Central Bank of ArgentinaThe Supreme Court decided a complex but important case on June 16, 2014, Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Limited. The Republic of Argentina issued bonds to American investors, correspondingly waiving its sovereign immunity and consenting to jurisdiction in New York State. Argentina subsequently defaulted on those bonds. Plaintiff bondholder NML did not participate in a renegotiation of the bonds and sued to prevent Argentina from paying other bondholders that agreed to settle their claims.

At issue were whether NML Capital could bring suit against Argentina under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and the extent of discovery to which plaintiffs are entitled. In court, the United States sided with Argentina. Argentina asserted it should be able to block third party disclosure of its assets, since some assets might be sensitive diplomatic or military assets. The Supreme Court ruled, 7-1, that Argentina is subject to the FSIA, and thus liable to suit pursuant to it, and that American banks can be ordered to disclose Argentina’s assets in the U.S. as part of discovery in the default lawsuit. This decision has potential ramifications for government debt restructuring around the world. Our experts examined these and other possible effects of the decision.

  • Prof. Michael D. Ramsey, Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law, Director, International & Comparative Law Programs, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Prof. Thomas H. Lee, Leitner Family Professor of International Law, Director Graduate and International Studies, Fordham University School of Law