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The Constitutional Solution for Terrorism

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By Judson Phillips, CP Op-Ed Contributor
March 13, 2013|9:14 pm

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dominated the news last week with his filibuster. He talked about the Constitution and drones. Sen. Paul stood and defended the Constitution and the rights of Americans against terrorism from the Obama Regime.

There is another amazing and unsung story about someone who is using the Constitution to fight terrorism.

Who is it and what is the story?

Gary Osen is an American attorney. He has filed a lawsuit that could help stop terrorism. Osen is suing a French Bank, Credit Lyonnais.

The suit was filed on behalf of Steve Averbach. Averbach was born in America but moved to Israel. Ten years ago, while working as a policeman, he realized a homicide bomber was on the bus he was traveling on. He tried to stop the bomber with his gun but the bomber detonated the bomb, killing 7 and horribly wounding Averbach. In 2010 Averbach succumbed to the wounds he had suffered in the bombing and died.

His family is suing the bank over funneled money for the terrorist group Hamas and they knew the money that was going through their bank was being used to support terrorism.

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The case is going to go to trial later this year, after the Bank tried to have the case dismissed. Instead, a jury of American citizens is going to listen to the proof in this case and decide if the Bank knew and allowed accounts to be used by Hamas and a charity that was a front for Hamas.

The plaintiffs in this case are taking advantage of something that America offers that few other nations do. We have a constitutional right to have a civil jury trial.

If Averbach's family and the other victims of Hamas terrorism prevail, they will strike a blow against the terrorists.

How can this happen? Terrorists launder their money through banks. Just like any other organization, they must have places to store their money, transfer their money and withdraw it when needed.

Banks serve this function, however it is illegal for banks to knowingly allow terrorist groups to open and operate bank accounts.

If the plaintiffs win, not only do they win compensation for the injuries (In Averbach's case, it would be compensation for his family for his death), but they would cause banks such as Credit Lyonnais to quit servicing bank accounts for terrorists lest they be sued.

The civil justice system is an important part of the free market economy. The civil justice system does what the free market is supposed to do. It rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior.

By punishing the bad behavior of Credit Lyonnais, it will deter that bank and others from providing bank accounts to terrorist groups.

This is not the first time the 7th Amendment has been used to attack terrorism. Recently the surviving families of the Beirut Marines who were attacked by a truck bomb in 1983 were able to sue and win a judgment against Iran. They seized a frozen Iranian bank account and although that verdict is now on appeal, it looks like billions of Iran's dollars will go to compensate the American victims of terrorism.

When our founding fathers put the 7th Amendment in the Constitution, they spoke of it almost reverently. The spoke of how it made all men equal. They spoke about how it allowed all disputes to be resolved in an equitable manner.

Our founding fathers could not have conceived of modern day terrorism nor could they conceive how the 7th Amendment to the Constitution might be used to fight terrorism.

But they certainly would be proud.

Judson Phillips is an attorney and the founder of Tea Party Nation. He lives in Virginia with his wife and family. You can follow Judson on Twitter at @JudsonPhillips
 

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