9/11 Families United calls on all Members of Congress to pass the bipartisan Ensuring Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (EJVTA), which would fulfill the promise Congress made to terrorism victims when it passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) in 1990 and the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) in 2016.
As U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), the lead Republican sponsor of the EJVTA, explained:
- “By making minor technical edits, this bill makes sure JASTA works the way it was intended to, reaffirms our commitment to holding sponsors of terrorism accountable, and ensures victims’ families can continue to seek justice against those who perpetrated these horrific acts.” [Click Here For More]
Watch Senator Cornyn’s Senate Floor Speech in Support of the “Support the Ensuring Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act” – September 18, 2023
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the lead Democratic sponsor of the EJVTA, further noted:
- “This effort will ensure that U.S. victims of terrorism and their family members are able to seek justice in a court of law as Congress intended. We must stand in solidarity with those Americans who have been affected by acts of terrorism.” [Click Here For More]
And U.S. Congressman Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), the chief sponsor in the House, said:
- “This bill will ensure that the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act can truly fulfill its goal of delivering justice for American victims of terror.”
The Ensuring Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act makes three technical corrections to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) that will:
- Reaffirm that injured plaintiffs can sue any person or entity, including a foreign state, for aiding and abetting terrorism;
- Ensure that terrorism victims bringing suit under JASTA have a clear mechanism to enforce any judgment they receive against a foreign state; and
- Clarify what Congress has always intended in the ATA and JASTA, that all U.S. citizens injured in their person, business, or property may seek recovery in the U.S. civil justice system from those who commit or aid-and-abet a terrorist attack in the United States.
JASTA was enacted in September of 2016 following an overwhelming show of support in Congress. That law amended the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) so that foreign states that sponsor terrorism cannot invoke “sovereign immunity” in cases arising from a terrorist attack on American soil. JASTA also amended the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) so that victims can hold liable foreign sponsors of terrorism who commit or aid-and-abet a terrorist attack.
Since JASTA’s passage, the 9/11 community has been pursuing justice and accountability in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Misinterpretations of JASTA by that court have made EJVTA necessary.
What We Are Saying:
“9/11 Families United strongly supports passage of the Ensuring Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which reaffirms the promise Congress made to our community in passing JASTA in 2016. Any delay in passing the EJVTA will empower terrorism defendants to dodge accountability in the courts and deny the 9/11 community the justice that we have been seeking since the murders of our family members. We thank the Senators in both parties who are championing this measure. The robust bipartisan support from our country’s lawmakers for our efforts to seek transparency and accountability is both commendable and greatly appreciated.”
9/11 Families United National Chair Terry Strada
To view our previous work, please click here.