A bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation this week that would overturn a court interpretation of current law that has blocked a lawsuit brought by 9/11 victims against Saudi Arabia for supporting al Qaeda.

The bill introduced by Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerHow Trump can score a big league bipartisan win on infrastructure Overnight Finance: Dems introduce minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (D-N.Y.) would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to clarify that victims of terrorist acts in the U.S. can hold the foreign sponsors of those attacks responsible in U.S. courts. Co-sponsoring the bill are Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin HatchOrrin HatchGOP leaders launch internal review into leak Insurers: GOP should keep pre-existing condition protections DOJ pitches agreements to solve international data warrant woes MORE (R-Utah), and Sens. John CornynJohn CornynRepublicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions Senate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Senate staff to draft health bill during recess MORE (R-Texas), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Overnight Cybersecurity: Bad Russian intel may have swayed Comey's handling of Clinton probe | Apple sees spike in data requests | More subpoenas for Flynn | DOJ's plan for data warrants Overnight Finance: GOP bill would leave 23M more uninsured, says CBO | Trump aides defend budget | Mnuchin asks for clean debt hike before August | Ryan says House could pass bill without border tax MORE (R-S.C.), and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDOJ pitches agreements to solve international data warrant woes Senators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets GOP rejects Dem effort to demand Trump’s tax returns MORE (D-R.I.).

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Schumer said the bill is needed because some U.S. courts have interpreted FSIA and ATA that Americans injured during the 9/11 attacks have no recourse against foreign states that should be held responsible. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York threw out a victims' suit against Saudi Arabia in 2008, based on the argument that Saudi Arabia did not direct the 9/11 attacks, and that FSIA did not apply to this case.

But Schumer said this decision reflects an incorrect interpretation of FSIA and ATA, and is "contrary to the plain language" of those laws.

"[T]aken together, the FSIA and ATA were designed to enable terrorism victims to bring suit against foreign states and terror sponsors when they support terrorism against the United States," Schumer said. "I am introducing this bill because I want the survivors of the 9/11 tragedy to have their day in court — and they were deprived of this by a court ruling that contorted the language and purpose of the FSIA and the ATA."

The Executive Branch has traditionally opposed these sorts of bills because of the possibility that they would interfere with its conduct of foreign policy. But Schumer said this sort of argument should not stick against his bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism act (JASTA), because it would not prevent the administration from settling claims for redress through an executive agreement.

"This is an executive authority that has been recognized and utilized going back to the administration of George Washington, and nothing in JASTA interferes with it," he said. "Nothing in this act would interfere with the execution of our foreign policy."