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    This page contains Supreme Court rulings -- with summaries of the majority and minority conclusions.

03-DOLE on Jan 22, 2003

Decided Apr 22, 2003
In 1997, a group of Central American farm workers alleged injury from chemical exposure against Dole Food Company and the Dead Sea Companies, which produced dibromochloropropane, an agricultural pesticide that harmed the farm workers. Dole argued that the Dead Sea Companies were instrumentalities of a foreign state, Israel, as defined by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) and thus entitled to immunity.

HELD: Delivered by Kennedy; joined by Rehnquist, Stevens, Scalia, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg

The Court held, 7-2, that a foreign state must itself own a majority of the shares of a corporation if the corporation is to be deemed an instrumentality of the state under the provisions of the FSIA. The corporate structure ("tiering") in this particular case prevented the Dead Sea Companies from claiming instrumentality status.

CONCURRENCE IN PART and DISSENT IN PART: By Breyer; joined by O'Connor

The phrase "owned by a foreign state" covers a foreign state's legal interest in a corporate subsidiary, where that interest consists of the foreign state's ownership of a corporate parent that owns the shares of the subsidiary. The relevant foreign nation does not DIRECTLY own a majority of the corporate subsidiaries' shares. But (simplifying the facts) it does own a corporate parent, which, in turn, owns the corporate subsidiaries' shares. Does this type of majority-ownership interest count as an example of what the statute calls an "other ownership interest"? The Court says no. I disagree.

    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 13. Question 13: Support & expand free trade Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Corporations
  • Headline: Sovereign immunity only applies to foreign-owned companies (Score: -1)
  • Headline 2: Sovereign immunity applies to foreign-controlled companies (Score: 1)

    Participating counts on AmericansElect question 5.
  • Headline: Sovereign immunity only applies to foreign-owned companies (Answer: A)
  • Headline 2: Sovereign immunity applies to foreign-controlled companies (Answer: C)
  • AmericansElect Quiz Question 5 on Foreign Policy: When you think about the US pursuing its interests abroad, which of the following is closest to your opinion?
    • A: The US should always act in its own interest regardless of what other countries think
    • B: The US should rarely listen to other countries
    • C: The US should listen to other countries more often than not
    • D: The US should always listen to other countries before pursuing its own interests
    • E: Unsure

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.

Democrats participating in 03-DOLE

Stephen Breyer w2cUS Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg j1US Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 

Republicans participating in 03-DOLE

Anthony Kennedy w1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
Sandra Day O`Connor j2cUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2005) 
William Rehnquist j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (until 2005) 
Antonin Scalia j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
David Souter j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2009) 
John Paul Stevens j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2010) 
Clarence Thomas j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 

Independents participating in 03-DOLE

Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 2
Republicans: 7
Independents: 0

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