US justices hear arguments in Argentina debt case

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court appears to be searching for a middle ground in the decade-long battle between Argentina and holders of its defaulted bonds.

The justices heard arguments Monday on a relatively narrow aspect of the issue, the question of whether a sovereign nation can be forced to reveal assets around the world so plaintiffs can collect on U.S. court judgments.

The court seemed inclined to narrow lower court orders in favor of the bondholders to exclude diplomatic, military and national security property owned by Argentina. At the same time, the justices indicated they might uphold the orders as they apply to commercial property outside the United States.

The court offered few clues about the larger case involving the same players: Argentina's appeal of a $1.4 billion judgment.