restriction imposed by the Constitution.”
U.S. at 486.
. . deferred to the decisions of the political branches--in
particular, those of the Executive Branch--on whether to
take jurisdiction over actions against foreign sovereigns
and their instrumentalities.”
Department issued the “Tate Letter,”9 which “announced [the]
adoption of the ‘restrictive’ theory of foreign sovereign
Until the 1950s, the judiciary “consistently .
In 1952, the State
Under this theory, immunity is confined to suits
involving the foreign sovereign’s public acts, and does not
extend to cases arising out of a foreign state’s strictly
the scheme of the Tate Letter as follows:
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Id. at 487.
The Ninth Circuit described
Typically, a foreign state or instrumentality faced with a suit in a court in our country would apply to the State Department for a finding of immunity. The State Department would make a determination, considering the common law principles expressed in the Restatement, and would convey the finding to the relevant court by filing a “suggestion.” In fact, however, the courts treated such “suggestions” as binding determinations, and would invoke or deny immunity based upon the decision of the State Department. Chuidian, 912 F.2d at 1100.
But by the 1970s, some in
Jack B. Tate was then Acting Legal Adviser of the Department of State. 24
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: In Re Terrorist Attacks