Opinion of the Court
Sovereignty shoulders "[t]hat power . . . whose actions are not subject to the control of any other power, so as to be annulled at the pleasure of any other human will." Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace 62 (A.C. Campbell trans., M. Walter Dunne 1901) (1625).1 It is a recognition of authority long thought essential for the mutual flourishing of states and "the advantage of their affairs." Emer de Vattel, The Law of Nations 17 (Béla Kapossy & Richard Whatmore eds., 2008) (1758). Congress codified its understanding of foreign sovereignty in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 ("FSIA").
In this consolidated appeal, six judgment creditors of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela hope to attach property held by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. ("PDVSA"), Venezuela's national oil company. It all arises from a long- running dispute. Four years ago, this Court wrote the most recent chapter, holding PDVSA operated as Venezuela's alter ego and allowing a judgment creditor (Crystallex International Corporation) to attach PDVSA's shares in a U.S. subsidiary. Our six creditors2 followed in those footsteps and registered their arbitration awards against Venezuela in the District of Delaware, seeking a writ of attachment against PDVSA's holdings. PDVSA resisted, arguing that changes in Venezuela's government destroyed the factual foundations supporting our prior alter-ego decision. But even accounting for those differences, the District Court correctly concluded that PDVSA remains the alter ego of Venezuela. And because reviewing PDVSA's other arguments would stretch the limited grant of our appellate jurisdiction well beyond the words written by Congress, we decline the invitation and will affirm the District Court's judgment.
The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Venezuela; Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Inc F/K/A Ingalls Shipbuilding Inc.; ACL1 Investments Ltd.; ACL2 Investments Ltd.; Ldo (Cayman) XVIII Ltd.; Rusoro Mining Limited; Koch Minerals Sarl; Koch Nitrogen International Sarl; Gold Reserve Inc.