Recently the United States has been applying sanctions against individuals, such as Vladimir Putin's adult daughters. This isn't a new thing by any stretch, but I wondered recently why this isn't considered a violation of the bill of attainder clause of the U.S. Constitution. Here are some possibilities I can think of:
- The sanctions are against non-U.S. citizens. (Presumably this could not be done to a political opponents' children.)
- Specific sanctions are handled by the executive rather than the legislative branch.
- Individual targeting is allowed if it's part of a legitimate foreign policy aim. (This answer suggests as much in response to a similar question about the fifth amendment.)
- Perhaps these sanctions avoid referring to specific individuals in some legally significant way.
I'm not sure if any or all of these make a difference.