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How Republican Judges Are Facilitating Corporate Exploitation Abroad

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Right-wing judges have consistently narrowed the use of American courts in recent years to crack down on corporations who engage in extremely egregious behavior abroad that violates human rights. Such is the case in the recent decision by a Reagan-appointed judge to throw out a lawsuit against Chiquita (formerly United Fruit) for paying Colombian paramilitary organizations. The company claims it was extorted by the paramilitaries, the Colombian people behind the lawsuit hold Chiquita responsible for the at least some of the deaths caused by the paramilitaries. In any case, it is quite clear that Chiquita knew it was violating U.S. anti-terrorism statutes in making these payments and didn’t care, which certainly makes one suspicious of its claims throughout not the case (not to mention its own history in violating the civil rights of millions of Latin American citizens over the decades).

The same principle of right-wing judges shielding American corporations from the consequences of their actions abroad also then applies to the violation of labor rights and environmental degradation. The American court system could and should be used to hold these corporations responsible for their global behavior, but for the judges of a political party that doesn’t want corporations held responsible for the domestic behavior, obviously that’s a non-starter, allowing the Thomas-Alito views to win.

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