Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined all other Judiciary Republicans in investigating Rutgers University’s Center for Security, Race and Rights for financially sponsoring events that featured terrorist sympathizers and promoted antisemitism.

“The work of the Center, its promotion of terrorist sympathizers, and its platforming of radical ideologues is troubling to us as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee has a long history of working on legislation meant to root out support for terrorism, and to compensate its victims. For example, in 2016 Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” the senators wrote.

“As the Committee explores the efficacy of this legislation, particularly in the context of recent world events, it is appropriate to evaluate the financial backing of groups that seek to legitimize violence and provide platforms for terrorist sympathizers,” they concluded.

The senators are probing whether U.S. taxpayer dollars fund the Center and what role foreign governments play in supporting the Center’s activities. This Center has received public, bipartisan condemnation, including from Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who described one of its events as “a platform to those affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

The full letter to the Rutgers University president is available here

The senators also penned a second letter to the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, based in New York. The firm donated at least $13,000 to the Rutgers Center’s Law Fellows Program over the past three years. The senators asked for written responses to inquiries regarding the firm’s financial support to the university in order to “evaluate the financial backing of groups that seek to legitimize violence and provide platforms for terrorist sympathizers.”

The firm previously declined an informal, private discussion with Judiciary Committee staff.

Full text of the letter to Rutgers is available here and to Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is available here.