WASHINGTON (AP) — Ruling in a case from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday limited federal judges’ authority to protect plaintiffs in lawsuits by barring defendants from spending or giving away their assets.

The 5-4 ruling said that Southern District Judge John S. Martin Jr., lacked the authority to bar a consortium of Mexican companies from transferring assets while they were being sued by U.S. investors, Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo v. Alliance Bond Fund, 98-231.

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