Last week, as the Kiobel case was being argued inside the Supreme Court, and many of ERI’s attorneys were sitting inside listening to oral arguments, I stood outside holding a sign that read, “Corporate Torture is Still Torture.”
As a law student, I would have loved to be sitting in that court room, listening to the caustic banter between Shell’s attorney, Kathleen Sullivan, and the nine Justices. But as an activist, I was so proud to be standing outside, with ERI and other activists, rallying for something in which I so strongly believe: that U.S. courts should provide a forum to everyone, no matter their national origin, to pursue justice for the most heinous of international human rights violations, including torture, murder, and rape.
Nonetheless, as I helped with the vigil ERI had organized, I waited impatiently for the attorneys to emerge. As I handed out brightly colored signs with #ShameOnShell emblazoned across them, I could not stop thinking about what was happening inside. I was so anxious.
Human rights advocates rally outside the Supreme Court on Oct 1, 2012
Although I only began interning at ERI a month ago, I have long been following their work. In fact, ERI and others’ groundbreaking work with the Alien Tort Statute was one of the primary reasons I decided to go to law school. Rallying outside the Court, I was acutely aware of the tireless labor by ERI and others, over three decades of ATS human rights cases, and I struggled with the thought of all of that being taken away. I knew that a . . .