A Commentary on Ingrid Wuerth’s The Due Process and Other Constitutional Rights of Foreign Nations

By David P. Stewart

Are foreign States and governments (and their state-owned enterprises) “persons” for constitutional purposes? Do they—should they—have “due process” rights under the U.S. Constitution? Ingrid Wuerth’s thoughtful and thoroughly researched article addresses those important questions from both the historical and doctrinal perspectives and proposes an innovative approach to resolving the issues.

The following commentary provides additional background and context, briefly tracing the origins and history of relevant U.S. case law and noting some of the practical implications of answering the questions affirmatively or negatively, particularly in light of the various exceptions to U.S. jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. It provides an assessment of Wuerth’s analysis and offers some comments on the possible implications of her approach.