David Barron

Stand with Rand for the Bill of Rights: Defend our liberties or watch them slip away

Rand Paul
(Photo credit: CSPAN)

The nomination of David Barron to the First Circuit Court of Appeals is not about transparency, but rather the right to due process guaranteed in the Constitution, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explained this morning.

“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,” said Paul in a 31-minute speech on the Senate floor. “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.”

The Obama administration has indicated that it will make public the controversial memo written by Barron that gave President Barack Obama the legal justification for the assassination of American citizens accused of terrorist ties, including those who are not involved in combat. Paul, however, explained that the issue the Senate must face isn’t transparency, but the substance of the memo.

“It isn’t about seeing the Barron memos. It is about what they say. I believe the Barron memos disrespect the Bill of Rights,” Paul explained. “The nomination before us, though, is about killing American citizens NOT engaged in combat,” The nominee, David Barron, has written a defense of drone executions of American citizens NOT directly involved in combat.”

Rand Paul’s stand against Obama was huge moment for the Constitution

Judge Andrew Napolitano really has a way of explaining the importance of basic civil liberties in a very common sense way. In his latest at Reason, “Another Week of Government Lawlessness,” he asks some very basic, mostly rhetorical questions:

What if that lawyer who advised the president that he could kill with drones—even Americans if he wished—has been nominated to become a federal judge? What if the bench to which the president nominated this lawyer is the second highest court in the land?

What if the Constitution requires Senate confirmation of all of the president’s judicial nominees? What if Sen. Rand Paul and others asked this nominee for public copies of his legal memoranda in which he found a way for the president legally to kill Americans? What if this nominee and the president refused to make these memoranda available for public scrutiny until a court ordered them to do so?

I have a question of my own: “What if the media actually thought Rand Paul’s filibuster was actually important enough to cover?” After watching half of one local newscast and half of another last night, it occurred to me that neither had one thing to say about Rand Paul’s filibuster, good or bad. Not one word about this judicial nominee, either, not even on the crawl on the bottom of the screen!

So what did my local news think was important enough for my consumption? The CEO of Levi’s advises his customers not to wash their jeans, the cat who saved a child from a dog attack “threw” out the first pitch at some minor league baseball game, and the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks visited the White House.

Today in Liberty: Let’s Stand With Rand against drone strikes, Harry Reid threatens to go nuclear again

“People must fight for something that they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil, however bad it may be.” - Ludwig von Mises

— McConnell wins renomination in Kentucky: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took 60.2 percent of the vote over conservative primary challenger Matt Bevin. “The tough race is behind us; it’s time to unite,” McConnell said last night. “To my opponent’s supporters, I hope you will join me in the months ahead and know that your fight is my fight.” Conservative groups that backed Bevin got behind McConnell before he uttered those words. FreedomWorks, for example, sent a statement calling for unity that landed in our inbox at 7:31 pm, not long after the media called the race for McConnell and before he gave his remarks. “Matt Bevin’s principled challenge helped Senator McConnell rediscover his conservative principles come November,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said. “Competition always breeds stronger candidates, and there is an improved conservative candidate heading into the general election as a result.” Likewise, Erick Erickson, editor of RedState, tweeted this before polls in Kentucky closed.

Hypocrisy: Harry Reid backs radical judicial nominee while opposing another with more mainstream views

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid balked at President Obama’s proposed nominee to a Georgia district court this week. Former Georgia State Senator and current Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals, Michael Boggs, staked out conservative positions on hot-button social issues during his time in the state legislature.

Reid said, “I’m going to oppose him. Here’s a man who has been outspoken in denying equality for people to be married. He has been outspoken in trying to re-create the flag of the Rebels, the Confederates. He’s a person who’s not — in my opinion — in the mainstream, and I don’t think he deserves to be a federal judge.”

According to the POLITICO report:

Boggs is part of a delicately negotiated parcel of Georgia judges negotiated between the White House and Georgia GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has committed to holding a committee vote on Boggs, but Reid would only say “we’ll see” about a floor vote.

Leahy said on Wednesday that the White House has not contacted him regarding Boggs’ nomination — and Reid piled on Thursday by positing that Boggs had not been thoroughly vetted for his position.

Reid, however, has voiced support for another controversial nominee whose views — as recently as 2011 — on the targeted killing of Americans with drones by the U.S. government are wildly unpopular among most Americans.

It’s on: Rand Paul vows to filibuster Obama judicial nominee

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is ready for another showdown over the Obama administration’s drones policy, this time over David Barron, President Barack Obama’s controversial nominee to First District Court of Appeals.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed for a vote Barron’s nomination, which will likely take place on Wednesday, according to The Hill. But Paul is hoping to throw a wrench in the plans, pledging to oppose and filibuster Barron due to his authorship of memos outlining the purported legal case for the assassination of American citizens when he served as acting assistant attorney general in the Obama administration.

The Second District Court of Appeals recently ordered the administration to release the memo. The White House, however, has defied the order, offering senators only limited access to the memo.

“I’ve read David Barron’s memos concerning the legal justification for killing an American citizen overseas without a trial or legal representation, and I am not satisfied,” Paul said in a statement this afternoon. “While the President forbids me from discussing what is in the memos, I can tell you what is not in the memos.”

Ted Cruz demands access to memo outlining how Obama can kill Americans

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) move last fall to go nuclear on the filibuster didn’t just undermine the rights of the minority in the chamber, it has also helped the Obama administration continue its pernicious habit of keeping members of Congress and the American people in the dark.

President Barack Obama nominated David Barron in September 2013 to fill a seat on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Barron briefly served in the administration, from January 2009 to July 2010, as acting assistant attorney general.

During his stint at the Justice Department, Barron, a critic of President George W. Bush’s use of executive power, wrote a memo outlining the legal case for the targeted drone assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen accused of terrorist activity. The drones memo, which has been used to assassinate other Americans, is now at the center of his confirmation to a lifetime seat on the federal bench.

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul calls for unity, Harry Reid wants to bring back earmarks

“We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” — Hillary Clinton

— Tillis tops Brannon, grassroots in #NCSen Republican primary: North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis crossed the 40 percent threshold to avoid a July 15 runoff against Raleigh OB/GYN Greg Brannon tonight. With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tillis garnered 45.7 percent to Brannon’s 27.1 percent. Tillis was backed heavily by establishment elements like Republican strategist Karl Rove and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Brannon rallied support from Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee as well as FreedomWorks and talk radio show host Mark Levin. Tillis’ outright victory is a setback for the “wacko bird” caucus in Washington, which has sought to thwart big-spending, compromise-at-all-cost Republicans. The Republican nominee will face-off against embattled incumbent Kay Hagan in the November election. The Real Clear Politics average gives Hagan only a slight lead over Tillis.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.