WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Wednesday on his expected vote on President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA:
“After careful consideration of President Obama’s veto, I believe that the risks of shielding the perpetrators of terrorism from justice are greater than the risks this legislation may pose to America’s presence around the world. I will therefore vote to override the President’s veto.
“The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, were a national tragedy for the United States, but were personally devastating for fathers, mothers, husbands, wives and children in Maryland and throughout the country. The 9/11 victims and their families deserve meaningful relief, and I cannot support putting obstacles in their way as they seek justice. On the contrary, I believe this legislation creates the kind of path to justice my constituents and fellow citizens are pursuing, and to which they are entitled. Those who commit or support terrorist acts in the United States should face the full range of consequences of our legal system.
“I also understand this legislation may have an impact on long-held sovereign immunity principles and may pose risks to the United States’ presence abroad.
“I will therefore follow closely how the changes work in practice and how other countries respond to JASTA. I am committed to working with my colleagues and with the current and future Administrations to mitigate any risks to the United States by protecting our diplomats, troops, and assets, including through legislation if that is needed.”