Personally, I don’t think anything this arcane could ever reach the public consciousnesses, but The View from LL2 says Kiobel may have an impact in November. If SCOTUS holds that corporations are outside the purview of the jus cogens norms of international law, we could see “a mini-replay of the Citizens United furor” … because that really swung the last election. On the other hand, if the High Court finds that corporations are people too even when it doesn’t suit them:
[...] then Republicans could use this case as another example of how “those people” (i.e., aliens, foreigners, what have you) have too many rights in this country. Launching into his best “they-terk-er-jerbs” speech, the Republican candidate could use Kiobel to condemn how the government has become more interested in protecting the interests of foreign citizens, rather than protecting the interests of small business owners, family farmers, apple pie bakers, etc.
Seems like material for hour three of Rush Limbaugh’s show, but not something that will make TV attack ads. It requires an awful lot of educating just to demagogue. Plus, as anyone familiar with ATS/ATCA can tell you, there are only a few active cases at any given time. Most of them involve the sort of sectors that don’t engender that much public support, like the extractive industries (oil, mining, etc.).
In an ideal world, politicians would discuss issues like this, if only because it would entertain me more than illegal immigrants and green building retrofits. However, many people think that their little issue is as important to everyone else as it is to them. Sorry folks, but we’ll probably be laboring in obscurity for the foreseeable future.