The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution Tuesday opposing President Obama’s plan to hold the 9/11 terrorist trials in New York City.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan, was one of seven Democrats to vote against the measure, even though he, too, thinks the trials should be moved out of the city because of the negative impact they would have in his district. What Squadron objected to in the resolution was the suggestion that the trials not be held in civilian court at all, but in military tribunals instead.
“We should stand with the [Lower Manhattan] community as a legislative body,” Squadron said on the floor of the Senate before the vote. “However, we also must stand with the fundamental tenets and principles of our nation and Constitution.”
Squadron thanked Sen. Vincent Leibell, the Republican who wrote the resolution, for his concern about the tight security of the trials hurting Downtown, but said he could not vote for it. Squadron wants the trials held in civilian court somewhere outside of New York City.
“We shouldn’t turn this into some ideological political battle,” Squadron told Downtown Express Wednesday. “It’s a question about how to do a tough thing right.”
— Julie Shapiro