Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sixteen Angry Men 3

Continued from SAM 2:

Sorry about the anti-climax. The law can indeed be an ass:

"The District Court of the District of Columbia, where the suit was filed, never addressed the merits of the complaint, but dismissed the case on a procedural technicality known as 'standing'. That concept prohibits a plaintiff from going forward on a lawsuit unless he can first show that he has been 'injured in fact, that the injury was caused by the defendant's challenged action and that the relief requested by the plaintiffs would provide redress for the injuries suffered'. Unless a plaintiff can overcome the 'standing' threshold, the suit will be thrown out of court. It was Judge Jackson's decision that few of the plaintiffs suffered a judicially recognizable injury directly attributable to the tax-exempt status of the 6 organizations. For those Palestinian landowners whose land had been confiscated, the judge held that revoking the tax-exempt status of the organizations would not redress their injuries; that the Israeli Government would have committed the wrongs regardless of the 6 US organizations' tax-exempt status. Concluded Judge Jackson: it would be 'more fanciful still to assume here that the government of Israel is so responsive to changes in US tax laws that the withdrawal of benefits from US contributors will work any alteration whatsoever in the character of its occupation of territory it now holds by force in the Middle East'. Judge Jackson ruled conservatively on the issue of standing, refusing to push the definition of injury to include the harm complained of by the plaintiffs. Judicial recognition of injury remained narrow, reinforcing a national trend excluding third parties from seeking judicial relief." (The Palestine-Israel Conflict in the US Courtroom, Rex Wingerter, September 1985,

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