Last October, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an extraordinary decision allowing a lawsuit to proceed in U.S. courts against more than 50 U.S. and foreign corporations for their role in aiding and abetting South Africa’s oppressive apartheid policies. The suit had been filed on behalf of millions of South Africans who claimed they’d been harmed by apartheid before it crumbled in the late 1980s.

The ruling set off alarms among business organizations fearful that the decision would lead to American companies being hauled into American courts by foreign parties to defend against allegations of misdeed far from U.S. soil.

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