Avi Lew


This Comment discusses the ramifications that Weltover has had on the decisions of federal circuit and district courts. Part I examines the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, its history, and its “commercial activity exception.” Part I then proceeds to describe Argentina's commercial activity at issue in Weltover, and the events in Argentina that created the conflict that led to the Weltover decision. Part II traces Weltover's procedural history, first describing the decisions by both the district court and the court of appeals, and then presenting the decision by the Supreme Court. In addition, Part II reviews a sampling of the federal circuit and district court cases that have followed Weltover's holding. Part III argues that the Weltover decision is significant because it provides lower courts with a standard to follow for defining the “direct effect” requirement of the commercial activity exception. Part III also notes that, despite the guidance that the Supreme Court has given through Weltover, the issue of a sovereign's protection under the FSIA remains unresolved. This Comment concludes that Weltover presents an important decision in the law of sovereign immunity, however, the question of the scope of the Weltover holding remains unsettled.