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South African Apartheid Suit to Proceed
The Supreme Court said Monday that it can’t intervene in an important dispute over the rights of South African apartheid victims to sue US corporations in US courts, because four of the nine justices had to sit out the case over apparent conflicts. The lawsuit accuses dozens of prominent US corporations of violating international law by assisting South Africa’s former apartheid government. Because the court couldn’t reach quorum, the court was forced to uphold an appeals court ruling allowing the suit to proceed. For the record, Chief Justice John Roberts owns Hewlett-Packard stock. Justice Stephen Breyer owns stock in Colgate-Palmolive, Bank of America, IBM and Nestle. Justice Samuel Alito holds shares in Exxon Mobil and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Meanwhile, Justice Anthony Kennedy sat out the case because his son is a managing director at the investment bank Credit Suisse.

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