Tag Archives: Westfall Act

Case of the Day: Saleh v. Bush

US Marines entering an Iraqi palace in Baghdad
Credit: Lance Corporal Kevin C. Quihuis Jr.

The case of the day is Saleh v. Bush (9th Cir. 2017). Sundus Shaker Saleh was an Iraqi who became a refugee during the Iraq War when Kurdish forces aligned with the United States forced her to leave her home in 2003. She sued former President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, and the United States. Remember those guys and gals? Saleh brought her claim under the Alien Tort Statute, claiming the defendants had committed the crime of aggression, a violation of customary international law. The government certified that the defendants had been acting within the scope of their offices, and therefore the government was substituted as the sole defendant under the Westfall Act. The court then dismissed the claim on account of Saleh’s failure to exhaust her administrative remedies under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Saleh appealed.
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