Bank Markazi v. Peterson Case Brief

Facts of the Case

Respondents, more than 1,000 victims of Iran-sponsored acts of terrorism, their estate representatives, and surviving family members, brought suit against Iran. To enforce judgments they obtained by default, respondents moved for turnover of about $1.75 billion in bond assets held in a New York bank account – assets that, respondents alleged, were owned by Bank Markazi, the Central Bank of Iran. The turnover proceeding began in 2008. In 2012, the judgment holders updated their motions to include execution claims under. Bank Markazi maintained thatcould not withstand inspection under the separation-of-powers doctrine, contending that Congress had usurped the judicial role by directing a particular result in the pending enforcement proceeding. The District Court disagreed, concluding thatpermissibly changed the law applicable in a pending litigation. The Second Circuit affirmed.




“A statute that effectively directs a particular result in a single pending case does not violate the separation of powers. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion for the 6-2 majority. The Court held that Section 8772 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 did not violate the separation of powers by directing the distribution of funds to terrorist victims. The fact that Congress passed the act during litigation did not tread onto judiciary “turf”