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October 3, 2016

About That JASTA Veto Override…


A law that appeared seemingly good from the surface in fact has dire national security implications. That’s a lesson some lawmakers finally comprehend — albeit too late to stave off possible repercussions. Last week Congress rejected Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). But it took only mere hours before the law’s strongest advocates began changing their tune.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 28 senators now acknowledge, “the United States could face private lawsuits in foreign courts as a result of important military or intelligence activities.” It’s too bad they didn’t think about that before overriding Obama’s JASTA veto. “This is what happens when legislation sails through the House and Senate in an election-year rush with little debate,” the editors observe.

As we explained last week, “It is undeniable that victims and the families of victims of terrorists are due justice. However, the primary question here concerns the means of obtaining that justice. Americans should be seeking to have justice accomplished through the means of our government, not to seek a way around the government via civil courts which will only muddy the waters for future international issues.”

Unfortunately, not only did Congress muddy the waters, it’s now desperately looking for a rewind. That’s no easy task. The Washington Examiner points out “[A]ltering the law would require new legislation, which will take time and cooperation, both of which are lacking this year.” Democrats face well-earned reproach for passing flawed legislation (think ObamaCare) and dealing with the consequences later. But Republicans are guilty of the same vice. There are myriad terms for this behavior, but leadership isn’t one of them.

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