Friday, May 23, 2014

Rand Paul Stands Up for Civil Liberties Again. And Against David Barron

“I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the President has the power to kill American citizens not involved in combat,” Paul will say on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I rise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a President is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose filibuster last year against the nomination of Barack Obama’s pick to head the CIA won plaudits from across the political spectrum, is pushing back against the nomination of David Barron to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

As Paul explained in The New York Times, Barron authored at least two memos justifying the killing by the U.S. government of a U.S. ciitzen abroad. No trial necessary. Paul isn’t alone in wanting more information about Barron’s role in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

I agree with the A.C.L.U. that “no senator can meaningfully carry out his or her constitutional obligation to provide ‘advice and consent’ on this nomination to a lifetime position as a federal appellate judge without being able to read Mr. Barron’s most important and consequential legal writing.” The A.C.L.U. cites the fact that in modern history, a presidential order to kill an American citizen away from a battlefield is unprecedented.

The Bill of Rights is clear. The Fifth Amendment provides that no one can be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Sixth Amendment provides that “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury,” as well as the right to be informed of all charges and have access to legal counsel. These are fundamental rights that cannot be waived with a presidential pen.

In battle, combatants engaged in war against America get no due process and may lawfully be killed. But citizens not in a battlefield, however despicable, are guaranteed a trial by our Constitution.

Full article: … -for-civil-liberties

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