Dames & Moore v. Regan, Sec’y of the Treasury

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Dames & Moore v. Regan, Sec’y of the Treasury
Court U.S. Supreme Court
Citation 433 U.S. 654 (1981)
Date decided 1981

Facts

After diplomats in Tehran were kidnapped, President Carter, acting pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, blocked all property and interests in the government of Iran by executive order. Then the US made an agreement to terminate all legal proceedings in US courts involving US persons and institutions against Iran, to get the hostages released. The petitioner filed this action for injunctive relief against the US to prevent enforcement of the executive order.

Issues

Whether the practice of settling foreign claims by executive agreement without the advice and consent of the Senate is Constitutional.

Holding

Congress has implicitly approved this practice.

Rule

Where the settlement of claims has been determined to be a necessary incident to the resolution of a major foreign policy dispute between our country and another, and where Congress acquiesced in the President’s action, the President has the power to settle such claims.