SOSA v. ALVAREZ-MACHAIN et al.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 03-339. Argued March 30, 2004--Decided June 29, 2004*
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approved using petitioner Sosa and other Mexican nationals to abduct respondent Alvarez-Machain (Alvarez), also a Mexican national, from Mexico to stand trial in the United States for a DEA agent's torture and murder. As relevant here, after his acquittal, Alvarez sued the United States for false arrest under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which waives sovereign immunity in suits "for ... personal injury ... caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any [Government] employee while acting within the scope of his office or employment," 28 U. S. C. §1346(b)(1); and sued Sosa for violating the law of nations under the Alien Tort statute (ATS), a 1789 law giving district courts "original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations ... ," §1350. The District Court dismissed the FTCA claim, but awarded Alvarez summary judgment and damages on the ATS claim. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the ATS judgment, but reversed the FTCA claim's dismissal.