The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations cannot be sued for the torture under the Torture Victim Protection Act.
The decision came in the case of Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and became a U.S. citizen. In 1995, while on a visit to his home village on the West Bank, he was taken into custody by Palestinian Authority intelligence officers; in the following days, he was allegedly imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The U.S. State Department issued a report classifying Rahim’s death as an extra-judicial killing, while in the custody of the Palestinian Authority.
Rahim’s American family, filed suit against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes lawsuits against “individuals” who commit acts of torture. The family argued that Congress intended the word “individual” to cover organizations.
But Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the court, rejected that argument as “unpersuasive.”
“No one, we hazard to guess, refers in normal parlance to an organization as an ‘individual,’” Sotomayor said, and there was no indication that Congress intended otherwise.
The notorious 1886 case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad is just one in a long series of Supreme Court cases that entrenched “corporate personhood” in law. Justices since have struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these “rights,” corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.
Find the rest of the NPR article here: Organizations Can’t Be Sued For Torture, High Court Rules