Brief Fact Summary. The Supreme Court of the United States held that the President may nullify attachments and order the transfer of frozen Iranian assets pursuant to Section 1702(a)(1) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”). Based on the Court’s inferences from legislation passed by Congress (IEEPA and the Hostage Act) regarding the President’s authority to deal with international crises and from the history of congressional acquiescence in executive claims settlement, the President may also suspend claims pursuant to the Executive Order.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where Congress has a history of acquiescence, as with claims settlement, it thereby implicitly approves of the President’s actions regarding that specific subject matter about which Congress was silent.
Issue. Whether the President’s acts of “nullifying” the attachments and ordering the “transfer” of all frozen assets are specifically authorized by Congress.
Whether the President has authority to suspend claims pending in American courts.
Held. Yes. Because the President’s actions in nullifying the attachments and ordering the transfer of assets were taken pursuant to congressional authorization (Section 1702 (a)(1) of IEEPA), it is “supported by the strongest of presumptions and widest latitude of judicial interpretation and the burden of persuasion rests heavily on any who might attack it.”
Yes. Based on the legislation (IEEPA and the Hostage Act) which Congress has enacted in the area of the President’s authority to deal with international crises, and from the history of congressional acquiescence in executive claims settlement, the President was authorized to suspend claims pursuant to the Executive Order
Discussion. The majority resorts to drawing inferences from Congress’ legislation to conclude that the President has authority to suspend claims in American Courts.