Bringing ‘Alien Torts’ to America

A court case that could invite specious international damage claims to the U.S.

(published in The Wall Street Journal, Feburary 28, 2012)

By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. And LEE A. CASEY

This Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases that should interest every U.S. company doing business overseas, and especially those operating in the developing world. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. and Mohamed v. Palestinian Authority raise the issue of whether corporations can be sued for violations of international law under U.S. statutes, including the Alien Tort Statute.

The ATS was adopted in 1789 by the first U.S. Congress. The statute permits suits by aliens in federal courts for certain alleged international-law violations, but it was moribund for nearly 200 years and its purpose remains opaque. The best guess is that Congress wanted to provide a means by which the U.S. could fulfill its international obligations to vindicate a very discrete set of damage claims by diplomats and other foreign nationals injured or abused by Americans.

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Birth-control mandate: Unconstitutional and illegal

It violates the First Amendment and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

(published in The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2012)

By David B. Rivkin and Edward Whelan

Last Friday, the White House announced that it would revise the controversial ObamaCare birth-control mandate to address religious-liberty concerns. Its proposed modifications are a farce.

The Department of Health and Human Services would still require employers with religious objections to select an insurance company to provide contraceptives and drugs that induce abortions to its employees. The employers would pay for the drugs through higher premiums. For those employers that self-insure, like the Archdiocese of Washington, the farce is even more blatant.

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Were Obama’s Recess Appointments constitutional?

Constitutional Attorney David Rivkin to speak at American Enterprise Institute

Published on 14 January 2012

by Staff

(OfficialWire)

Washington, D.C. (USA)
OfficialWire PR News Bureau

The 2012 election year has just begun, and already controversies have swirled around a number of President Obama’s actions. Constitutional issues are at the forefront as the president seeks to improve his chances of reelection by delivering on his promises. But is the president violating the Constitution as he tries to implement his program of transformation? Constitutional attorney David Rivkin believes he is. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington D.C. will be facilitating a discussion on one of the recent controversies, President Obama’s “recess appointments.”

On January 4, 2012, President Obama made the following appointments: Richard Cordray as Director of the CFPB; and Richard Griffin, Jr., Sharon Block, and Terence F. Flynn as members of the NLRB. At the time of the appointments, the Senate was holding a series of “pro forma” sessions. The U.S. Department of Justice claims that the President has the authority to make these appointments, in essence, to decide based on his own analysis about when Congress is in session. David Rivkin and other constitutional law experts disagree.

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President’s “Recess” Appointments Unconstitutional, David Rivkin Testifies

(WASHINGTON)— The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform  chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA) is set to begin a hearing on the morning of February 1 on President Obama’s recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). During the hearing, titled “Uncharted Territory: What are the Consequences of President Obama’s Unprecedented ‘Recess’ Appointments?”, constitutional attorney David Rivkin will assert that the appointments are unconstitutional.

On January 4, 2012, President Obama made  the following “recess” appointments: Richard Cordray as Director of the CFPB and Richard Griffin, Jr., Sharon Block, and Terence F. Flynn as members of the NLRB.  At the time of the appointments, the Senate was holding a series of “pro forma” sessions.  While the U.S. Department of Justice claims that the President has the authority to make these appointments, in essence, to decide for himself when Congress is in session, David Rivkin and other constitutional law experts disagree.

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Can Obama’s imperial power grabs be stopped? Rivkin tells Lou Dobbs

Constitutional Attorney David Rivkin to debunk the president’s latest controversial move on immigration on Fox Business Network

Published on 9 January 2012

by Brent Baldwin

(OfficialWire)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (USA)
OfficialWire PR News Bureau

David Rivkin, the lawyer who designed and argued the successful multi-state challenge to ObamaCare, is turning his guns on the latest and possibly the most egregious unconstitutional power grab by the Obama administration. Watch Rivkin in action on Lou Dobbs.

David Rivkin will be interviewed on Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network Friday, January 13 (7 to 8 p.m. EST) regarding a recent article he co-authored for The Washington Postabout President Barack Obama’s claims that he can preempt state law whenever immigration policy “might irritate a foreign government.”

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Obama’s reckless recess ploy

No president has resorted to recess appointments when Congress is in session. Expect serious legal challenges to new financial regulations.

By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey

President Obama’s appointments of Richard Cordray as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and of three new members of the National Labor Relations Board, are all unconstitutional.

Each of these jobs requires Senate confirmation. The president’s ability to fill them without that confirmation, using his constitutional power to “fill up vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate,” depends upon there actually being a recess. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are open for business. The new appointees can pocket their government paychecks, but all their official acts will be void as a matter of law and will likely be struck down by the courts in legal challenges that are certain to come.

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