California's Nazi Art Law Unconstitutional

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According to Courthouse News, a state law that allows Californians to recover art stolen by Nazis is unconstitutional because it infringes on the federal government's foreign affairs powers, the 9th Circuit ruled in a case involving a16th century piece by Lucas Cranach in the Norton Museum of Art in Pasadena.

The circuit found that the scope of the 2002 statute is too broad and goes beyond providing redress to California's victims of Nazi looting.

According to circuit Judge David R.Thompson, the law's language "suggests that California's real purpose was to create a friendly forum for litigating Holocaust restitution claims, open to anyone in the world to sue a museum or gallery located within or without the state."

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