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Yesterday’s non-ruling: U.S. Supreme Court

7 October 2014

No, not the one on same-sex marrriage (but not taking cases from appeals courts, the Supremes basically upheld the lower courts in their rulings on sae-sex marriage, immediately creating them in five states, and making leaving five states having no recourse but to change their own marriage laws).  That was good.  I have mixed feelings on the one nobody mentioned north of the border:

The United States Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of 10 people who tried to sue former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo on the grounds that he was partially responsible for a slaughter committed in 1997 in Mexico, claiming the president then tried to cover it up.

The high court gave no reason for refusing to admit the case. A federal judge in Connecticut and the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York had dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that Zedillo has immunity as a former head of state.

The plaintiffs claim that they are survivors of the slaughter of 45 people in the village of Acteal, in the southern state of Chiapas, perpetrated by paramilitaries allegedly linked to the government.

Zedillo called the allegations as baseless. He was president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000 currently teaches at Yale University in Connecticut.

(La Jornada, “Corte Suprema de EU bloquea demanda contra Zedillo por Acteal“, 7 October 2014)

I have mixed feelings about the U.S. assuming it has the right to try cases for crimes in other countries (and its people scream when their own citizens are tried here for crimes committed in this country … see any rightwing site talking about gun-runner and general fuck-up Andrew Tamorresi for the latest example), but the plaintiffs had standing in U.S. courts, and Zedillo is, by his own choice, a resident of the United States.
And, while I understand the historical reasons for prostecutorial immunity for officials in this country (in the badder old days, there was a tendency to arrest dissident congressmen and governors, or judges who ruled the wrong way) Zedillo is not a sitting office holder and I was hoping to at least get the facts on the record in a court of law… a Mexican court, not some Connecticut one.

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