A federal appeals court has dealt a major blow to descendants of Armenian genocide victims, ruling that a California law that had opened the door to several multimillion-dollar settlements against life insurance companies is unconstitutional.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the law on Thursday, ruling 2-1 that U.S. foreign policy, which does not officially recognize the Armenian genocide, pre-empts California’s statute. The ruling came one day after the same panel used the same reasoning to strike down a 2002 law meant to help the heirs to artwork allegedly stolen by the Nazis.

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