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In response to a groupof Armenian-American claimants’ appeal
to the United States Supreme Courtin the Movsesian matter, which dealt
with the issue of a state’s (California’s) right to enact legislation
concerning the pursuit of Genocide-era life insurance proceeds,
the Supreme Court has ordered the Solicitor General to file a brief
expressing the views of the United States as to whether the Court should
grant review of theNinth Circuit Court of Appeals’ troubling decision
that states may haveno such rights.

The Supreme Court’s order is of considerable significance
since one of the issues in the case is whether the federal government
has a policy about states recognizing the Armenian Genocide and, if so,
what the policy is.

The Armenian Bar Association, through the auspices of the
Bingham law firm and its senior partner David Balabanian, had filed
persuasive and incisive amicus briefs in the underlying federal
appellate proceedings making the case that the relevant state
legislation did not conflict with federal law or policy.
Mr.Balabanian, the founding chairperson of the Armenian Bar
Association, developed and presented a cogent argument and brought
together as clients a grouping of various civic and human rights
organizations, including the Armenian National Committee of America with
which the Armenian Bar collaborates on various
community-based projects.

Edvin Minassian, the Armenian Bar Association’s Chairman
Ex-Officio,remarked: “We are encouraged that the Supreme Court has
asked that the Solicitor General weigh in on the issue, with the hope
that Solicitor General will not disavow, and instead outright reaffirm,
the Genocide’s reality and its prior recognition by the federal
government, both of which have been amply documented. In doing so, the
Supreme Court will be in a position to evince the constitutionality of
state legislation in an area of law(insurance) which has traditionally
been within the purview of states’ rights. “

Minassian cautioned that much work lies ahead to ensure that
the Armenian Genocide is not politicized soas to be manipulated as an
excuse by Genocide denialists to in appropriately undermine the
legitimacy and constitutionality of state legislation.”Those who
politicize the Armenian Genocide for nefarious purposes shal lnot deter
us in the Movsesian case and beyond,” said the former two-term Chairman
of the Armenian Bar.

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