The Supreme Court is reviewing a case involving Executive Orders and regulations that invalidated attachments and liens on Iranian assets in the United States, directed the transfer of these assets to Iran, and suspended claims against Iran that may be presented to an International Claims Tribunal. The case involves the balance of power between the President's executive authority and the Constitution's system of checks and balances. The lower court's decision is not mentioned. The petitioner challenged the constitutionality of the President and the Secretary of the Treasury's actions in implementing the Agreement with Iran, but the District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The United States Courts of Appeals for the First and the District of Columbia Circuits upheld the President's authority to issue the Executive Orders and regulations challenged by the petitioner. The Supreme Court granted the petition for the writ and set the case for oral argument. The lower court's decision was not upheld.
Justice Stevens concurs with the majority opinion in a legal case, except for the jurisdictional issue discussed in Part V. He opines that the petitioner's claim being considered an unconstitutional "taking" due to being prosecuted in another forum is improbable. Hence, he decides not to address the jurisdictional question.
Justice Powell concurs with the Court's opinion except for the decision that nullifying the attachments did not constitute a taking of property interests requiring just compensation. He believes that both "taking" claims should be left open for resolution on a case-by-case basis in actions before the Court of Claims. However, he dissents from the Court's decision regarding attachments, as the facts of the pending claims against Iran are not known to the Court and may differ from the facts in this case. The author agrees with the Court's opinion regarding the suspension and settlement of claims against Iran and its instrumentalities. The Court holds that parties with valid claims that are not adjudicated or fully paid may bring a "taking" claim against the United States in the Court of Claims, which has jurisdiction. The government must pay just compensation when it uses claims lawfully held by a few individuals as "bargaining chips" to further the nation's foreign policy goals. The Just Compensation Clause of the Constitution cannot be displaced by the extraordinary powers of the President and Congress in the circumstances of this case.
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