How low can they go? Congress fails to do its job — then tries to blame Obama for it

There is chutzpah, and then there is whatever Congress did last week in the course of overriding President Obama’s veto of the bill.


JASTA would upset longstanding international principles regarding sovereign immunity, putting in place rules that, if applied globally, could have serious implications for U.S. national interests. The United States has a larger international presence, by far, than any other country, and sovereign immunity principles protect our Nation and its Armed Forces, officials, and assistance professionals, from foreign court proceedings.


JASTA, or the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, will enable American survivors of terrorist attacks to sue the foreign governments that funded those terrorists. It was written and passed largely to give the families of 9/11 victims the chance to sue for providing financial support to the perpetrators of that attack.


The White House was strongly opposed to JASTA and lobbied against it. Nonetheless, it passed both chambers of Congress by a wide bipartisan margin. President Obama, as he had promised to do, then vetoed the legislation.


[C]oncerns 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.



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