Part of Judiciary Act of 1789
Federal district courts have original jurisdiction of civil actions by alien for tort, committed in violation of “law of nations” or US treaty.
Filartiga v. Pena-Irala – 2d. Cir – 1980 (328-30) F kidnapped and tortured to death by P, Inspector General of police in Paraguay. P entered US on visitor’s visa – was served, using ATS as basis of jurisdiction.
District Court – dismissed, saying “law of nations” does not govern state’s treatment of its own citizens.