The Supreme Court of the United States announced decisions in three cases today:

Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd., No.12-842: After petitioner, the Republic of Argentina, defaulted on its external debt in 2001, respondent NML Capital, Ltd. (“NML”), one of Argentina’s bondholders, prevailed in 11 collection actions against Argentina in the Southern District of New York. In aid of executing the judgments, NML served subpoenas on two nonparty banks, seeking records related to Argentina’s global financial transactions. The Southern District of New York granted NML’s motion to compel compliance with the subpoenas, and the Second Circuit affirmed, rejecting Argentina’s argument that the discovery transgressed the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (the “Act”). Today, the Supreme Court affirmed, emphasizing the “comprehensive” nature of the Act and stating that “any sort of immunity defense made by a foreign sovereign in an American court” must stand or fall on the Act’s text. Because the Act has no provision forbidding or limiting discovery in aid of execution of a foreign-sovereign judgment debtor’s assets, and because a “plain statement” is necessary to preclude application of federal discovery rules, Argentina’s arguments were unavailing.

The Court's decision is available here.

Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, No. 13-193: Respondent Driehaus, a former congressman, filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission (the “Commission”) alleging that petitioner Susan B. Anthony List (“SBA”) violated an Ohio law criminalizing certain false statements made in a political campaign when it stated that his vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a vote in favor of “taxpayer funded abortion.” Driehaus lost his reelection bid and the complaint was dismissed, but SBA continued to pursue a separate suit in federal district court challenging the Ohio law on First Amendment grounds. Petitioner Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending on Taxes also filed a First Amendment challenge, alleging it had refrained from disseminating a similar message because of the proceedings against SBA. The district court consolidated the cases and dismissed them as nonjusticiable. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, holding the cases were not ripe for adjudication because SBA and COAST had not shown an imminent threat of future prosecution. Today, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed, holding that the substantial threat of future Commission proceedings against petitioners, combined with the threat of criminal prosecution, established a “credible threat of enforcement” sufficient to satisfy the “injury-in-fact” requirement of Article III of the Constitution and the ripeness doctrine.

The Court's decision is available here.

Abramski v. United States, No. 12-1493: Petitioner Bruce Abramski offered to purchase a handgun for his uncle, but falsely indicated on the federally-required form that he was the “actual transferee/buyer” of the gun. He was convicted for knowingly making false statements in connection with the purchase under 18 U.S.C. §§922(a)(6) and 924(a)(1)(A). The Fourth Circuit affirmed his conviction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that in light of the statute’s context, structure, and purpose, Abramski’s false statements were punishable under the statute, regardless of whether the true buyer could have purchased the gun without a straw purchaser.

The Court's decision is available here.