Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Now What, Justice Kennedy?

The First Amendment and the application of foreign law to the US Constitution come together in a British Court, where an American author has "lost" a defamation lawsuit by default after being sued by a billionaire Saudi.

The book upon which the case turned was never even published in Britain.

Sheik Khalid Salim a bin Mahfouz, according to author Rachel Ehrenfeld, “... currently [faces] over 10 lawsuits ... by numerous plaintiffs in the United States claiming billions of dollars in damages from Mahfouz's alleged involvement in financing the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Center."

The Sheik did not like this, so he sued. He has a habit of it, having sued for defamation or libel over 30 times.

Britain's libel law, of course, is far more generous to the plaintiff than is US law. In fact, the burden of proof is entirely reversed, falling on the defendant.

Ehrenfeld ignored the suit and the judgment.

I want to know how our Supreme Court
can let the scofflaw Ehrenfeld get away with ignoring this judgment, since they've accepted that foreign jurisprudence can modify our Constitution. See Roper v. Simmons, as reported in the NYT - "Supreme Court Bars Death Penalty for Juvenile Killers"

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