Mr. Speaker, Sunday marks 15 years since America was viciously attacked in 2001. Everyone remembers what they were doing. I was driving my Jeep to the courthouse in Texas, where I was a judge.
People stopped on the side of the road because they were listening to the radio about how planes were used as a weapon to attack our Nation. Three thousand Americans and people from other nations were murdered at the hands of evil, malicious terrorists, and our country changed forever that day.
The lives of those families especially changed, those families that suffered loved ones who were killed and injured and are still injured today. Meanwhile, we are here debating whether or not these families of the victims deserve their basic right, under the Constitution of the U.S., to their day in court, the right to sue the perpetrators.
I don’t think there should be much dissenting on this issue. Mr. Speaker, if any foreign government, if it can be shown to have supported a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, American victims ought to have the right to sue that country.
Based on the 28 pages held secret for years, there may be evidence that the country of Saudi Arabia and their officials may have had some involvement in planning the elements of that attack. I don’t know. That is what the courtroom is for.
Whether this involvement rises to the level to be held accountable at trial is an issue for a jury of Americans to decide. It is interesting that Saudi Arabia objects to this legislation. Methinks they object too much.
Like any other issue, we should let a jury decide the damages, what they should be, whether there should be any at all. The legislation gives the victims’ families access to the courts, to the rule of law, and we, as a people, should be more concerned about these victims of terror than we are about diplomatic niceties with other countries.
The voices of the murdered cry out for us to do justice, and justice has been waiting too long; 15 years for justice. Mr. Speaker, justice is what we do in this country, and that is what these victims and their families want.
And that is just the way it is.