September 28, 2016

Senators Release Bipartisan Letter on Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), today released a letter to Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) after the Senate voted to override President Barack Obama’s veto of S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).

Full text of the letter is included below and available online here.

Dear Senators Cornyn and Schumer:

We are writing regarding the anticipated override of the president’s veto of S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). 

We appreciate the efforts that you have undertaken to allow the families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 to have additional recourse. 

We have a great deal of compassion for the families and respect their desire for justice.  We understand your purpose in drafting this legislation is to remove obstacles so those who commit or support terrorist acts in the United States face the full range of consequences of the U.S. legal system.  However, concerns have been raised regarding potential unintended consequences that may result from this legislation for the national security and foreign policy of the United States.  If other nations respond to this bill by weakening U.S. sovereign immunity protections, then the United States could face private lawsuits in foreign courts as a result of important military or intelligence activities.

We would hope to work with you in a constructive manner to appropriately mitigate those unintended consequences.

Sincerely,

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