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Stop-the-Nukes Lawsuit Disintegrates

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from the Marshall Islands against the United States and eight other nuclear-armed nations, accusing them of refusing to stop the arms race and negotiate disarmament.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White tentatively dismissed the case in January after hearing arguments on Jan. 16. On Tuesday, he granted Uncle Sam's motion to dismiss.

The lawsuit sought to compel the world's nine nuclear nations - the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea - to comply with obligations of the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty prevents non-nuclear nations from acquiring such weapons, and requires nations with nuclear arms to negotiate for their elimination.

White wrote in his 9-page ruling that the Marshall Islands lack standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

The judge found that the republic "fails to account for the fact that the Court cannot mandate specific performance as a remedy or grant redress for its alleged injury" and that the republic's requested relief - that the United States negotiate in good faith on effective measures for disarmament - is "not attainable."

White ruled that the republic's lawsuit raises a "fundamentally non-justiciable political question" that would be better addressed by the political branches of government.Granting the republic's requested relief, White said, would violate the separation of powers.

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