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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.”

Mixed signals: Five ‘high risk’ terrorists go free while Obama claims authority to assassinate Americans

Let’s get this straight. President Barack Obama can “legally” kill an American citizen who is merely suspected of terrorist activity, ignoring the constitutional rights of due process and trial by jury, while at the same time trade five terrorists for an American soldier who deserted his unit?

That’s not necessarily how President Obama or any of his apologists would put it, but that’s exactly the message his administration has sent.

The Justice Department penned a memo for the White House in 2010 making the legal case for the targeted assassination of American citizens accused of terrorist ties. Anwar al-Awlaki is the only American citizen to have been specifically targeted, but three others have been killed, including al-Awlaki’s innocent, 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman.

The U.S. Senate recently confirmed the author of that memo, David Barron, to serve on the First District Court of Appeals.

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.”


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