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Second Circuit Denies Stay In Apartheid Case

NEW YORK (CN) - The 2nd Circuit has refused to stay an action brought by victims of apartheid in South Africa who accused several major companies and banks of enabling the government to maintain a system of racial segregation.

After the circuit remanded the case in October, 36 companies moved to stay the mandate for 90 days in order to appeal to the Supreme Court. They argued that U.S. courts should not meddle in South Africa's affairs by entertaining complaints in which the United States has no interest.

The majority opinion explained that "to grant a stay at this juncture would deprive the district court of the opportunity to address the principal issue upon which the corporations seek Supreme Court review: whether various prudential doctrines, including case-specific deference to the political branches, counsel dismissal of these claims" under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

In a stinging dissent, Judge Korman wrote that the "continued prosecution of this matter constitutes a continuing insult to the Republic of South Africa and a continuing irritant to our relationship with that post-apartheid government." See order.


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