NAME: Budha Ismail Jam, et al., Petitioners v. International Finance Corporation
JOINING: Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch
Jam v. Et AlWell, that's what I wanted this case to be about.
In this case, the Jams and Jellies and other (generally, lesser known types of) Fruit Preserves of The World rose up and shook off their Condiment Status Shackles.
International Organizations are associations of Member Countries. Much like Corporations have Humans as stockholders, International Organizations have Countries as Members.
These Member Countries (themselves) enjoy certain Immunities and these Immunities (in turn) have been conferred upon the International Organizations of which they are members.
- Member Countries started with certain Immunities.
- International Organizations are given these Immunities.
- The nature of the Member Countries Immunities changes.
- What Immunities do International Organizations now enjoy?
GLOBAL v LOCALvariables in programming languages. Adding in the twist of an intermediary assignment, and this becomes a question of whether values are passed by
x = 10 y = x x = 15 y = ?If values are passed by
xhas the value of
10at the time of assignment. So,
y = 10.
Whereas, if values are passed by
x. And at the moment,
xhas a value of
y = 15.
This, of course (but of course), can get even more complicate, because if subsequently:
z = 20 x = z y = ?Then there exist Logics (and therefore, I am sure Programming Languages) in which
yhas the value of either
Personally, I think
y = x = z = 20is the easiest to understand (and what I advocate for the Legal System). But I'll be damned if I'll ever use a Programming Language that works that way.
In short, it gets complicated.
As does the law.
Much to my chagrin.
Suffice to say, The Court (who I agree with) decided (in this particular case) we should pass by
y = x = z = 20) and Immunities should be updated over time, while the Dissent Disagreed.
As an Ideological concern, I want Everyone and Everything to be equal under the law. And as such, I would not give Immunity to Governments, their Internal Agencies, and/or (their external ones operating as) International Organizations.
Currently, Lawsuits are:
- Complicated to Litigate
- Time Consuming
- Include Bizarre Liability Chains
- Unreasonable Rewards
But then, The System is broken. It's only going to get worse. And there's no better way of insuring that things get worse than by putting the Government at risk.
Damned if you do.
Damned if you don't.
As to the case at hand:
- The International Organizations Immunities Act is passed.
- It grants Immunity to International Organizations matching that given to Foreign Governments.
- The International Finance Corporation is Chartered.
- The Immunity the Good Old US of A grants to Foreign Governments changes.
- In short, Commercial Activity is now excluded.
- IFC makes a loan to a third party, enabling construction of a Power Plant.
- Which looks like it fits the definition of Commercial Activity, to me.
- The Power Plant causes Pollution.
- Surprise! Surprise!
- I (for one) did not see that happening.
- The IFC is sued.
- Hey, wouldn't it be fun if the IFC was defending against a Class Action Lawsuit with a Class Membership of around Six Billion?
- Fine. Your idea of fun is different from mine.
- But then, you're reading what I'm writing, so maybe it's not.
- The Supreme Court says the Lawsuit may proceed.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go listen to Take It Easy by the Eagles, in which it is advised, "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy."
But then again, nobody (and I mean, nobody) tells me what to do.