Monday, July 9th, was a powerful day for us at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle.
It was moving and momentous, after four years of seeking accountability, to actually be in a court room, to feel a bit of the majesty of the law and the hope that we still find in it.
It was powerful to be there on Rachel’s behalf and on behalf of Palestinian families who have suffered and continue to suffer such terrible losses, and to see even a very limited application of the law to these tragedies.
It was powerful to sit in a U.S. courtroom and to hear even a few comments and questions related to the terrible acts that have happened in the West Bank and Gaza.
It was powerful to hear the brilliant argument presented on our behalf by the gifted attorney Erwin Chemerinsky, Duke University law professor, and to witness the respect with which his remarks were met by the panel of 9th Circuit judges.
It was powerful, to see our remarkable and dedicated attorneys, Gwynne Skinner from the International Human Rights Clinic at Seattle University School of Law and Maria LaHood from the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, working side by side with Professor Chemerinsky. It was powerful to note the presence and interest of their associates and, also, the numerous students from Seattle University who have worked on this case.
It was powerful to hear the very serious and complex legal discussion of questions raised in Corrie et al. v. Caterpillar, Inc., and to hear cited the old and existing law and interpretations of that law that speak to our case.
Finally, it was powerful, heartwarming, and comforting to have so many of you join us in various expressions of support—with your presence in the courtroom, on the street outside, and at the press conference that followed the hearing, and with encouraging messages from some who could not attend. We were asked by KOMO radio news about your effort. The reporter wanted to know if there was opposition present—and we were able to respond, that as far as we could see, there were only friends—friends who recognized the outrageous acts committed against Rachel and these Palestinians, and friends who wanted to be in the courtroom to demonstrate their demand for corporate responsibility in the world and for corporate attention to human rights.
We and our lawyers feel very positive about Monday’s proceedings and are all cautiously optimistic about the outcome. This is, by nature, a long process. The expectation is that a decision from the court will take some time—most likely many months. We will keep you informed about developments. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more, in order to help us explain this effort to others. You can read about the case and the briefs that have been filed by visiting the Center for Constitutional Rights website.
To hear audio of Monday’s hearing, visit the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit website (Enter case number 05-36210).
Thank you so much to each one of you for your presence and support on Monday and throughout this process. Special thanks to all who spent precious time during the past two weeks meeting and organizing for Monday’s event.
Cindy and Craig Corrie and the Corrie Family