TERROR

Sept. 11 families can now sue the Saudis but will it matter?

  • FILE- In this Sept. 28, 2016 image taken from video and provided by C-SPAN2, the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington is shown as the Senate acted decisively to override President Barack Obama's veto of Sept. 11 legislation. Although Congress has allowed Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over claims it had a role in the terror attacks, a federal judge has blasted the legal case at the heart of the debate as notoriously weak and full of "largely boilerplate" accusations. And the revised law that passed this week over President Barack Obama's veto gives the Justice Department sweeping authority to put the case on hold and fails to eliminate sovereign immunity from protecting Saudi Arabia assets. (C-SPAN2 via AP, File)

    FILE- In this Sept. 28, 2016 image taken from video and provided by C-SPAN2, the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington is shown as the Senate acted decisively to override President Barack Obama's veto of Sept. 11 legislation. Although Congress has allowed Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over claims it had a role in the terror attacks, a federal judge has blasted the legal case at the heart of the debate as notoriously weak and full of "largely boilerplate" accusations. And the revised law that passed this week over President Barack Obama's veto gives the Justice Department sweeping authority to put the case on hold and fails to eliminate sovereign immunity from protecting Saudi Arabia assets. (C-SPAN2 via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this April 20, 2006 photo, Alice Hoagland, whose son Mark Bingham died on United Airline's Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, speaks to reporters in front of U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. Congress has allowed Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over claims it had a role in the terror attacks but some judges have questioned the strength of the case. Plaintiffs like Hoagland say just airing their argument in court would be a victory in itself. "We're less interested in any kind of financial gain than we are in bringing the truly guilty into court and making our case known," she said. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

    In this April 20, 2006 photo, Alice Hoagland, whose son Mark Bingham died on United Airline's Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, speaks to reporters in front of U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. Congress has allowed Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over claims it had a role in the terror attacks but some judges have questioned the strength of the case. Plaintiffs like Hoagland say just airing their argument in court would be a victory in itself. "We're less interested in any kind of financial gain than we are in bringing the truly guilty into court and making our case known," she said. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2009, file photo, Foster Goodrich hugs his father Donald Goodrich prior to a dove release at a Sept. 11 Memorial Service held in Bennington, Vt. Donald Goodrich, who lost his son, Peter, in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, doesn't believe that any new fact coming to light in a potential lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia would change anything for him. He believes it's a mistake to try to cram the complexities of 9/11 into a courtroom. (AP Photo/Jason R. Henske, File)

    FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2009, file photo, Foster Goodrich hugs his father Donald Goodrich prior to a dove release at a Sept. 11 Memorial Service held in Bennington, Vt. Donald Goodrich, who lost his son, Peter, in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, doesn't believe that any new fact coming to light in a potential lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia would change anything for him. He believes it's a mistake to try to cram the complexities of 9/11 into a courtroom. (AP Photo/Jason R. Henske, File)  (The Associated Press)

Just because Congress has allowed Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over claims it had a role in the terror attacks doesn't mean such a case will ever go before a jury.

Already, a federal judge has blasted the legal case at the heart of the debate as weak and full of "largely boilerplate" accusations.

And the revised law that passed this week over President Barack Obama's veto gives the Justice Department authority to put the case on hold and fails to eliminate sovereign immunity from protecting Saudi Arabia's assets.

University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck, who has been following the case for years, says the bill is the worst of both worlds — everything Saudi Arabia complained about and very little of what the plaintiffs thought they were getting.