Bench Memos

Don’t Cry for Argentina

The Second Circuit yesterday denied Argentina’s request for an en banc rehearing of a ruling that it owes $1.4 billion to bondholders in litigation arising from its defaults on its bond obligations. Argentina, which has already filed one unsuccessful certiorari petition on this matter, will surely seek Supreme Court review again. For reasons spelled out in the bondholders’ brief in opposition to the first petition, that second petition should also fail.

One particular fact would make it extraordinary if the Court were to grant review: As the opposition brief discusses in its closing section, and as the Second Circuit highlighted, Argentina has made clear that it will defy any adverse judgment that it receives on this matter from American courts. (See this YouTube clip from oral argument in the Second Circuit.) In other words, Argentina would be brazenly seeking to enlist the Supreme Court on its behalf even as it has vowed not to comply with an adverse ruling by the Court. As the opposition brief puts it:

It would be a gross misallocation of this Court’s scarce resources to grant discretionary review to a litigant that has exhibited such disdain for the authority of the United States judicial system—especially a litigant that voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of that very system in order to convince investors to lend billions of dollars in the [bond] offerings…. A party that seeks review in this Court should be asking this Court to resolve the case in a manner that is binding on both parties, not suggesting that the Court become the coin in a game of “heads I win, tails you lose.”

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