Politics and the Tortured Question of Dignity: Maintaining the Separation of Powers in Times of Emergency
Volume 91, No. 3, Spring 2019
By Timothy Lockwood Kelly [PDF]

The alien torture plaintiff faces a litany of barriers to entry to U.S. courts. These barriers include the state secrets privilege, the Alien Tort Statute’s (ATS) territoriality and well-established cause of action requirements, and immunities of all sorts. Even once a torture plaintiff’s foot is in the courthouse door, he faces the difficult task of establishing that the conduct at issue meets the torture standard and that the defendant is legally responsible for the conduct. This Comment, however, will focus on just one of the obstacles faced by the torture plaintiff: the political question doctrine (PQD).

Timothy Lockwood Kelly is a J.D. Candidate, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2019. He earned his M.A. in Philosophy from The New School for Social Research in 2016.