Sunday, March 25, 2012

US v. Alvarez-Machain case brief

US v. Alvarez-Machain (S Ct 1992, p. 210)
  • Guy kidnapped and brought to the US to get jurisdiction.
  • Ker Frisbee-Machain Doctrine—bringing people from other places and trying them here. Shld this continue?
  • Muth: Thinks this is a good idea in some situations.
  •  argues that extradition treaty means no kidnapping (law of extradition is treaty based—treaties say which crimes for which people can be extradited).
  • Art. 9 in Treaty p. 212: seems that it does prevent abductions.
  • Rehnquist admits the abduction was shocking, but says that it doesn’t matter.
  • What is really the theory behind this case? Treaty doctrine (intl) v. Ker-Frisbee (domestic). Why no deference to treaty here?
  • Muth: Thinks this is a bad opinion and that the real theory (see above) shld have been how the ct framed the issue. Ct cld have said, if person finds himself here, issue is domestic—presence in US means jurisdiction?
  • Double standard—if someone did this to the US, we wld claim its illegal.
  • State Dept thought this was terrible but Justice Dept thought this was fine.
  • N. 4, p. 222: The PLO Case—Another judgment that stretched the interp of a treaty to avoid conflict w/ US domestic law. (1987 Anti-Terrorism Act wld not be applied to close down the PLO’s NY office b/c, as a Permanent Observer to the UN, the PLO was protected by US/UN Headquarters Agreement, 1947).

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