A federal appeals court has ruled that African-Americans cannot sue the government for damages resulting from slavery. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 ruling, said that the seven plaintiffs failed to point to specific government actions that violated their rights. "The bottom line is it will be very unlikely for blacks to get the courts to look at this kind of lawsuit because it is difficult to show the nexis between damage and a particular government action," says TIME's Adam Cohen. "If the courts were to decide this case, the monetary damages would be huge and would open up the floodgates for an enormous redistribution of wealth. The courts are more comfortable leaving these matters up to the legislative branch. Also, the political climate, which has low tolerance for things like affirmative action right now, isn't exactly ripe for this kind of lawsuit." The suit, which was drafted by the Reparations Committee for African Americans, sought more than $100 million.