At the hearing [in Oakland, CA], U.S. Judge Jeffrey S. White went to some length to state the impact of Israel’s war on Palestinian civilians and the U.S. government’s support for it but indicated the case might ultimately hinge on questions of jurisdiction.
“The Palestinian people are living in fear and without food, medical care, clean water, or sufficient humanitarian aid. Defendants — the president of the United States and his secretaries of state and defense — have provided substantial military, financial, and diplomatic support to Israel,” he said.
“However, the primary concern for this court is the limitation of its own jurisdictional reach.”
He later described the case as one of the “the most difficult” of his career. “You have been seen, you have been heard by this court,” he told the plaintiffs. “I’m going to take it extremely seriously.”
Center for Constitutional Rights and Justice Department attorneys deliberated for more than an hour about the court’s standing to hear the case. Attorneys for the plaintiffs referenced a different legal case accusing Russia of genocide in Ukraine, which the U.S. government has supported, to point to the Biden administration’s awareness of its responsibility to take steps to prevent genocide. [Continue reading…]