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Appeal in Genocide Case against Biden, Blinken, and Austin Set for June 10

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) announced on May 7 that in the case Defense for the Children International—Palestine v. Biden, Blinken, Austin, et al., a June 10 hearing in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has been set. The CCR press release states that the appeal brief argues, “the court has a constitutional obligation to hear their claims that these top U.S. officials failed to prevent—and are complicit in—Israel’s genocide in Gaza. As Israel continues its assault on Palestinians in Gaza with its attack on Rafah amidst a full-blown famine, while tens of thousands of students across the country and around the world protest their universities’ complicity in human rights violations, this case is another component of the effort by Palestinians and Palestinian rights advocates to stop Israel’s genocidal campaign on Gaza by ending U.S. support for it.”

Plaintiffs’ appeal arose when the lower court federal Judge Jeffery S. White, on Jan. 31, dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds, invoking the “political question” doctrine, i.e. courts are not to decide “political” questions. Even so, White opined: “It is every individual’s obligation to confront the current siege in Gaza. … [B]ut it is also this Court’s obligation to remain within the metes and bounds of its jurisdictional scope.”

Ironically, on January 26, 2024, Judge White had held a full day of hearings, receiving testimony from Palestinians of harrowing scenes then unfolding in Gaza. That same morning, the International Court of Justice found that it was “plausible” that genocide was being committed in Gaza. Despite his dismissal, White agreed with the ICJ ruling. He wrote that the testimony before him “comports with” the ICJ findings in the case of South Africa v. Israel and “indicates that the current treatment of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military may plausibly constitute a genocide in violation of international law.” He further wrote: “This Court implores [Biden, et al.] to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza.”

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