United States v. Sperry Corp.

Foreign Relations Authorization Act

Question(s) Presented

“Section 502 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987, requires the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to deduct and pay into the United States Treasury a percentage of any award made by the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal in favor of an American claimant before remitting the award to the claimant. We are asked to consider in this case whether § 502 violates the [1] Just Compensation Clause or [2] Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment or the [3] Origination Clause of Article I, § 7.”


1. “As we see it . . . Sperry has not identified any of its property that was taken without just compensation. . . .” 2. “We agree with the United States that the retroactive application of § 502 is justified by a rational legislative purpose. . . . Nor does § 502 violate the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause . . . .” 3. “In another case to be argued this Term, we have directed the parties to brief whether claims based on the Origination Clause present nonjusticiable political questions. Although this Court has on prior occasions appeared to address the merits of Origination Clause claims, it would be inappropriate for us to do so now, before we decide the threshold question of justiciability . . . . Furthermore, even assuming that Origination Clause claims are justiciable, we would benefit from the views of the Court of Appeals, which found it unnecessary to address the Origination Clause issue.”