Penn State International Law Review


H. Moss Crystle


This Comment reviews the theories of dismissal which were available to Judge Rafeedie and analyzes the theory he chose. To understand the Judge's reasoning, Part One relates the facts of the abduction of the Mexican National, Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain. Part Two describes the history of the Ker-Frisbie doctrine and its exceptions, and evaluates them in light of the state-action analysis traditionally used in "domestic" American constitutional law. Part Three goes on to describe alternative theories, rejected by Judge Rafeedie, which more resolutely denounce international abductions and torture. The Comment observes that Judge Rafeedie's reasoning emphasized U.S. treaty obligations over international law and human rights. The Comment concludes by suggesting that the Ker-Frisbie doctrine has outlived its use and only serves to encourage circumvention of the very laws courts are bound to uphold.