Surely the SCOTUS blog must regret having overlooked our little blog here as they hold a symposium on recent SCOTUS doings over the Alien Tort Statute, a subject we covered in our own way over four years ago.
Of course, the tone of our discussion was a little different from the Washington DC orthodoxy the SCOTUS blog seems to unconsciously channel.
Our occasional (if unwitting) muse, Professor Anderson, is in attendance though. He’s touting his favorite, if Hobbesian, theme: the war of all against all for dominance, leveraging advantage on the margins and so on, only this time the participants are the “competitive sovereign powers” instead of credential-optimizing students.
They could use the more populist strikelawyer perspective at this symposium, we think. After all, the Trump administration is more populist friendly, right? Doesn’t that count for anything
in the swamp inside the beltway?
In any case, populist or elitist it really doesn’t matter. The Alien Tort Statute was effectively nullified by Kiobel four years ago. The question of whether it applies to corporations, which the SCOTUS is supposedly going to consider now, is moot, properly speaking. Whatever the SCOTUS is going to decide short of that will suffer from no small measure of incoherence, and can only reflect the SCOTUS’ true leanings we sadly noted before.