Volume 100 -- Issue 3 Georgetown Law Journal

The Alien Tort Statute, Federalism, and the Next Wave of Transnational Litigation

This Article examines, through the lens of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), the question of what role international and transnational law should play in domestic courts and points to the next battlegrounds for transnational litigation under state and foreign law when transnational cases are filed in state courts. After surveying recent developments in federal case law that demonstrate some limitations on the ability of plaintiffs to sue in federal courts for transnational harms, the Article analyzes forthcoming issues of federalism, choice of law, preemption, and due process that will arise as part of the next wave of transnational litigation in state courts. The Article concludes by proposing a congressional fix to problems that arise when transnational cases are pled in state courts that uses the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 as a model for alleviating federalism concerns.

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