Supreme Court case tests US leadership in human rights

Today the Supreme Court will assess whether US courts can hear lawsuits that pertain to events outside the country. If the justices eventually decide 'no,' an important avenue for redress will be closed to foreign victims of human-rights abuses – and America’s beacon will shine less brightly.

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    The US Supreme Court is under a protective scrim, as work continued on the facade Sept. 27. Op-ed contributor Jodie A. Kirshner writes about the case the court will hear on the first day of its new term today: 'Between 1994 and 1995, [Barinem] Kiobel and other residents of the Ogoni region of Nigeria were arrested, tortured, convicted of murder in a sham trial, and shot.' With no redress in Nigeria, Kiobel's widow and survivors 'turned to the American courts.'
    Alex Brandon/AP
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