The briefs were submitted in support of Agent Orange victims whose cases were dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The cases are now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The briefs argue that the district court did not have jurisdiction because the cases were not properly subject to "removal" to federal court from state court where they were originally filed under a statute providing that federal officers, employees and agents can remove cases filed against them in state court. The briefs argue that the defendants here, private corporations who manufactured Agent Orange, do not qualify as federal agents for purposes of the removal statute.
On February 22, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected our arguments, holding that corporations that were acting as federal contractors were entitled to remove cases against them to federal court because they were “persons” who acted under the direction of a federal officer.