Bush Administration Blocks Corporate Responsibility Overseas
With the State Department urging a US court to dismiss a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corporation for its operations in Indonesia, the Bush administration is making its second bid this year to restrict international corporate responsibility for human rights violations abroad, the New York Times reported today. The suit alleges that, in hiring the Indonesian military to provide security for their gas extraction and liquification project, Exxon Mobil—the world’s biggest energy company—was complicit in the torture, murder, and rape of villagers in Aceh province. However, the State Department suggested the suit might cause Exxon Mobil to leave Indonesia, in turn allowing Chinese oil companies to gain greater prominence in Southeast Asia, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Under the Clinton administration, the State Department took a neutral stance on cases of this kind, according to the Nation. "We have an administration that is much closer to corporate interests," said Bama Athreya, the deputy director of the International Labor Rights Fund, the law firm representing plaintiffs in the case. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Exxon Mobil Corporation—second to Enron Corporation—was one of the largest campaign donors overall in the 2000 election, with Republicans receiving 89 percent of its contributions.
The suit is being brought under the US Alien Tort Claims Act of 1792, which has been used since the 1970s by survivors of torture to sue their torturers. None of the suits brought against corporations has yet been brought to trial.
Media Resources: Wall Street Journal 08/07/02; New York Times 08/08/02; International Labor Rights Fund 7/15/02, 8/8/02; The Nation 07/15/02
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .
6/26/2015 Supreme Court Declares Marriage Equality a Constitutional Right - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that same-sex couples fundamentally have equal protections under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all 50 states to both license a marriage and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. . . .
6/26/2015 President Obama Delivers Moving Eulogy in Charleston - The nation is remembering the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting this week, as President Obama gave an unforgettable eulogy for State Senate Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
President Obama knew Reverend Pinckney personally, meeting him during his 2008 election campaign. . . .