The families of alleged victims of terrorist attacks sponsored by Iran have won an important battle in the courts. The US Supreme Court Ruled that a lower court’s finding that Iran be compelled to pay damages in the case of the 241 Marines killed in Beirut along with a couple other terrorist attacks, leaving the family of victims able to collect 2 billion in damages from Iran’s Bank Markazi.
Over the past twenty years or so, congress has worked to make it easier to sue and collect for deaths caused by state sponsored terrorism. The Obama administration has once again proven their hypocrisy by supporting the victims of Beirut, while at the same time, refusing to turn over documents proving Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks and opposing legislation in Congress meant to make it easier for the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. Somehow, I believe that the Obama Presidential Library is nearly paid for.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the court rejecting efforts by Iran’s central bank to try to stave off court orders that would allow the relatives to be paid for their losses.
Iran’s Bank Markazi complained that Congress was intruding into the business of federal courts when it passed a 2012 law that specifically directs that the banks’ assets in the United States be turned over to the families.
The law, Ginsburg wrote, “does not transgress restraints placed on Congress and the president by the Constitution.”
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented. “The authority of the political branches is sufficient; they have no need to seize ours,” Roberts wrote.
More than 1,300 people are among the relatives of the victims of the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, the 1996 terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 service members, and other attacks that were carried out by groups with links to Iran. The lead plaintiff is Deborah Peterson, whose brother, Lance Cpl. James C. Knipple, was killed in Beirut.