The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Obama administration to weigh in on a case regarding whether victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and their families can sue banks accused of having terrorist ties.

An appeals court earlier this year dismissed claims made by the victims against banks based in the Middle East and elsewhere they have accused of providing financial support to the terrorists who carried out the attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in 2001.

The lower court said the claims against the banks could proceed if the plaintiffs established stronger links between a bank and a particular terrorist action. The victims then appealed to the Supreme Court.

The victims and families say the banks are guilty of "secondary liability" under U.S. anti-terrorism law.

The justices asked the U.S. Solicitor General's office to file a brief on the case expressing its views. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case, likely because she served as solicitor general during President Obama's first term.

The justices presumably will wait until the administration submits its brief before deciding if they will take up the case.