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Afternoon Briefs: SCOTUS tosses child slavery case; DOJ drops suit and probe over Bolton book

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SCOTUS tosses suit over child slavery in Ivory Coast

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Nestlé USA and Cargill can’t be sued here under the Alien Tort Statute for allegedly providing assistance to Ivory Coast cocoa farms that used child slaves. In an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, the court said the suit must be tossed because nearly all the alleged relevant conduct took place overseas. A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Paul Hoffman, said the decision is narrow, and at least five of the nine justices appear to think that corporations can be sued under the law. He plans to file an amended complaint that will satisfy the court’s standards. Nestlé and Cargill said in statements they oppose child labor. (Reuters, CNBC, the opinion in Nestlé USA v. Doe.)

DOJ drops suit seeking Bolton book profits

The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped a June 2020 lawsuit seeking profits from a tell-all book written by John Bolton, a national security adviser during the Trump administration. The department also closed its criminal probe of Bolton. The suit had contended that the book is “rife with classified information.” The book is The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir. (The New York Times, the Washington Post)

Wrongfully convicted people collectively spent 25,000 years in prison

Exonerated defendants in the United States have collectively served more than 25,000 years in prison for crimes that they didn’t commit, according to a report released this week by the National Registry of Exonerations. Barbara O’Brien, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations and a professor at the Michigan State University College of Law, said in a press release 25,000 years is an undercount since the vast majority of false convictions are never corrected. (National Registry of Exonerations report and press release)

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