Thursday, November 10, 2011

Asakura v. City of Seattle case brief

Asakura v. City of Seattle
FACTS
  • Plaintiff is a pawnbroker and subject of Japan.
  • There is a city ordinance regarding pawnbrokers, must have a license, and to have a license, must be a citizen of the United States.
  • There is a treaty that exists between the United States and Japan that would allow him to carry on trade or do anything as ordinary citizens of the United States are able to do.  
ISSUE
Does the ordinance violate the treaty between the US and Japan?
HOLDING
Yes.  The treaty is valid in Washington and was a self-executing treaty.  
ANALYSIS
The court states that the purpose of the treaty is to regulate, not to prohibit.
The Plaintiff was denied equal opportunity.
How to determine if a treaty is self-executing
1.  Look to the language to see if it says.
2.  If the language is unclear:  look to the intent of the parties; senate (domestic legislation?); presidential statements.
   
The treaty here just required equal treatment, there was no further law required.
The treaty was written in mandatory terms.
"Shall" = have to do/manditory.
"Will" = may do, not manditory 

Class: International Law
Topic:  Article II Treaties 

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