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United States: President Biden Signs American Rescue Plan Act into Law to Address Ongoing Issues Related to Coronavirus Pandemic

(Mar. 11, 2021) On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, a $1.9 trillion supplemental appropriations bill commonly referred to as the American Rescue Plan. Although Congress enacted a number of emergency appropriations measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020, including the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response […]

United States: Supreme Court Holds Germany Not Liable for Forced Sale of Artifacts by German Jewish Art Dealers during 1930s

(Feb. 16, 2021) On February 3, 2021, the United States Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion in Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, holding that heirs to Jewish art dealers whose relics were acquired by the German government during Nazi rule are barred from recovery in United States courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). […]

United States: President Signs Law to Provide New Economic Stimulus to Address Pandemic Hardships

(Dec. 28, 2020) On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 133, a consolidated $2.3 trillion appropriations package, including provisions allocating approximately $900 billion for various economic relief programs to address hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This stimulus package is the first large-scale emergency appropriations legislation of this type that the […]

United States: Supreme Court Rules Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism May Recover Punitive Damages under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(June 2, 2020) On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Republic of Sudan could be held liable for $4.3 billion in punitive damages related to state-sponsored acts of terrorism that occurred in 1998. (Opati v. Republic of Sudan, No. 17-1268 (May 18, 2020).) Case History In 1998, al-Qaida orchestrated simultaneous […]

United States: House of Representatives Adopts Temporary Procedure for Voting by Proxy

(May 18, 2020) On May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted H. Res. 965, which provides for voting by proxy during the coronavirus pandemic. The resolution allows a single House member to serve as a voting proxy for up to 10 fellow members and establishes a protocol for this new process. The resolution […]

United States: President Signs Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 24, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 266, alternatively referred to as the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This act provides $310 billion in supplemental appropriations to a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program created through the CARES Act and earmarks $50 billion to bolster […]

United States: Supreme Court Dismisses Claims Against Border Patrol Agent for Constitutional Violations in Cross-border Shooting Death

(Mar. 31, 2020) On February 25, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 5–4 opinion holding that a U.S. Border Patrol agent was not liable for claims of Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations stemming from a cross-border shooting death of a 15-year-old Mexican national. (Hernández v. Mesa, No. 17-1678 (Feb. 25, 2020).) Case History In […]

United States: President Signs Families First Coronavirus Response Act into Law, Making Available Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

(Mar. 19, 2020) On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6201, also known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Some of the act’s key provisions include free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave for qualifying individuals, and expanded food assistance and unemployment benefits. Under the act, some businesses are required to provide […]

American Samoa: Court Rules Individuals Born in American Samoa Enjoy Birthright United States Citizenship

(Feb. 24, 2020) In December 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Utah issued a memorandum decision finding that individuals born in American Samoa enjoy birthright United States citizenship under Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Fitisemanu v. United States, No. 18-36 (D. Utah Dec. 12, 2019) (Fitisemanu) (order granting summary judgment).) […]