Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling for the heirs of a Holocaust survivor seeking to retrieve a painting by a French impressionist that was stolen by Nazis during World War II.

The high court’s nine justices were presented with the question of what law federal courts should use when hearing claims brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Justice Elana Kagan wrote the 9-0 ruling, arguing that state law should be followed in accordance with the decision rather than federal.

“The path of our decision has been as short as the hunt for Rue Saint-Honoré was long,” Kagan said, referring to the painting sought by the heirs of a German Jewish art dealer.

The high court’s ruling does not end the dispute over the painting because the case was remanded to lower courts, but it marks a procedural win for the heirs.

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