April 20, 2016

Whitehouse Applauds Supreme Court’s Decision in Favor of Victims of Iran-Sponsored Terrorism

Senator Thanks Roger Williams Professor, Local Law Firm for Authoring Senators’ Brief in Case

Washington, DC – Today, the Supreme Court issued a decision in favor of the victims of Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks – including the families of nine Rhode Islanders who perished in the bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983 – in an appeal by Iran’s central bank challenging monetary judgments the victims had won in federal court.  The Court’s 6-2 decision clears the way for victims to collect roughly $2 billion from the Iranian bank.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who filed a “friend of the court” brief in the case with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Ted Cruz (R-TX), applauded the Court’s decision, and thanked Roger Williams University Law Professor Peter Margulies and Motley Rice, LLC, which has an office in Providence, for their help in drafting the Senators’ brief.

“The Supreme Court has arrived at the correct decision in this case.  These victims of Iran-sponsored terror won judgments in federal court and have been vindicated in the Supreme Court for very good reason – because it’s Congress’s proper role to confront the complexities of bringing state sponsors of terror to justice.  I applaud Professor Margulies and the skilled attorneys at Motley Rice for their strong work in drafting our brief, and I congratulate the families who have fought so tirelessly on behalf their loved ones,” said Whitehouse.

“I am gratified that the Supreme Court has upheld Congress’s ability to hold state sponsors of terror accountable.  I am also gratified that the Court has upheld justice for the victims of state-sponsored terror.  We very much appreciate the Senators’ efforts to accomplish those goals,” said Professor Margulies.

On October 23, 1983, a terrorist group supported by the Iranian government bombed a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which was part of a multinational peacekeeping force authorized by the United Nations.  The bombing killed 241 servicemembers, including nine from Rhode Island.  Federal courts have called the Beirut bombing “the most deadly state-sponsored terrorist attack against American citizens prior to September 11, 2001.”


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