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Cleveland State Law Review


Supreme Court, International Emergency Economic Powers Act, IEEPA, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, foreign affairs power, iran hostage crisis


A second look, however, reveals that in Dames & Moore, the Supreme Court did more than resolve some of the sticky legalities that were part of a serious foreign policy crisis. It also moved the country one step forward towards a strengthened constitutional structuring of the foreign affairs power. …Dames & Moore v. Regan was the test vehicle through which the Supreme Court scrutinized the constitutionality of the settlement with Iran which permitted the release of the American hostages held by that government.…Because the executive orders of two Presidents were the only barriers to Dames & Moore executing its judgment, the claimant filed for declaratory and injunctive relief against the government and Secretary of the Treasury Regan."' Dames & Moore asserted that the presidential actions had no constitutional warrant and that they invaded the company's constitutional rights in pursuing its suits against Iran and the Atomic Energy Organization.…The two major issues which the Supreme Court faced were 1) whether President Carter was acting within the limits of the Constitution when he ordered the frozen Iranian property out of the country, and more significantly, 2) whether President Reagan possessed constitutional authority to suspend all claims against Iran then pending in courts throughout the United States.


Digested in Law Review Digest, May-June 14 1983. This Article grew out of a paper presented to a meeting of the Western Political Science Association in San Diego on March 25, 1982.