Rand Paul: How can we confirm a judge who thinks it’s legal to kill Americans without due process?

posted at 3:21 pm on May 21, 2014 by Allahpundit

A short sequel to his celebrated marathon filibuster last year aimed at Obama’s “kill list” and the droning of Anwar al-Awlaki. One of the White House lawyers who greenlit Awlaki’s liquidation is David Barron, the same David Barron whom O nominated to a seat on the First Circuit. Paul’s first move after the nomination was announced was to vow to block the confirmation vote unless and until the Senate got to see the unredacted version of Barron’s memos on the subject. Obama refused and held out, but after the Second Circuit ruled against him and Senate Democrats started to get nervous about the politics of this, he relented last week. The memos were released to the Senate, Democrats sighed in relief and proclaimed them a welcome show of transparency, and Harry Reid proclaimed that he had the 51 votes needed to confirm Barron. (Remember, thanks to Reid, filibusters are no longer allowed to block lower-court presidential appointments.) So Paul modified his demands: Why vote to confirm this guy before the memos have been released to the public? If voters are willing to rubber-stamp extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens by the government, shouldn’t they at least have the relevant info beforehand so that they can form an informed opinion and weigh in with their respective senators?

Nope. Barron was confirmed less than an hour ago, 52-43, with just two Democrats (Joe Manchin and Mary Landrieu) voting no. Among the yeses was none other than Ron Wyden, a longtime critic of counterterrorism encroachments on civil liberties who spoke in solidarity with Paul during his first filibuster last year. He went face-first into the tank for Obama today, wheezing to the media a few days ago that releasing the memos to the Senate was “a very constructive step.” Don’t be too hard on him, though: My guess is that only a fraction of today’s 41 Republican votes against the nomination will remain no’s if/when a Republican president’s advisors adopt Obama’s drone precedents.

Here’s Paul’s statement from this morning, which Peter King will doubtless end up attacking during the 2016 debates as some form of terrorism appeasement.

Update: Here’s the roll. Not only did not a single Republican vote yes, among the Republicans voting no were … John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Didn’t they scoff at Paul’s filibuster last year?


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OT – several car bombs in Nigeria

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Rand Paul: How can we confirm a judge who thinks it’s legal to kill Americans without due process?

Christ, RP, have you never heard of Emperor obama?

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Waterboarding is still banned – right?

JoeHanson on May 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Obama: “I just learned about these drones on TV”

faraway on May 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

About 100 bad ones went to fight Asaad, and are back in the USA.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

it’s legal to kill Americans

VA: “we do it all the time”

faraway on May 21, 2014 at 3:28 PM

“Osama is dead and GM is alive”

“So what if a few Veterans are dead too? It’s GWB’s fault and Baghdad Bobbie told me about it, after he learned it from the media”.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Waterboarding is still banned – right?

JoeHanson on May 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

That’s inhumane.. Much better to bomb someone to death from the sky..

melle1228 on May 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

VADeathPanelsforBonusesGate

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Rand Paul: How can we confirm a judge who thinks it’s legal to kill Americans without due process?

‘How? Because he considers waterboarding known foreign terrorists to be ‘torture’ so he’s all kewl.’

- Progtards

Resist We Much on May 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

“Out here, due process is a bullet”
-John Wayne as COL Kirby in The Green Berets

DAT60A3 on May 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Not only did not a single Republican vote yes, among the Republicans voting no were … John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Didn’t they scoff at Paul’s filibuster last year?

Scoff??? I think Insane McVain and Senator Scarlett did much more than ‘scoff.’ IIRC, they viciously attacked the ‘whackobirds.’

Resist We Much on May 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I’ve never gotten worked up about the droning of al-Awlaki. I would have if it had happened in the US, Canada, France, Britain, or any country where we could reasonably pursue him via law-enforcement cooperation with a host country. But the lawless wilds of Yemen? As far as I’m concerned, that made him a complicit terrorist in the same mold as KSM. I have no tears to shed nor outrage to vent over that “hit”.

Bitter Clinger on May 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Because there are no laws anymore. It’s whatever our supposed ‘legal system’ decides on a particular day.

reddevil on May 21, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Don’t be too hard on him, though: My guess is that only a fraction of today’s 41 Republican votes against the nomination will remain no’s if/when a Republican president’s advisors adopt Obama’s drone precedents.

And we want to give these same folks the majority, under the presumption that judges like these never see the light of day.

Insanity isn’t created, it’s spontaneous.

nobar on May 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

I’ve never gotten worked up about the droning of al-Awlaki. I would have if it had happened in the US, Canada, France, Britain, or any country where we could reasonably pursue him via law-enforcement cooperation with a host country. But the lawless wilds of Yemen? As far as I’m concerned, that made him a complicit terrorist in the same mold as KSM. I have no tears to shed nor outrage to vent over that “hit”.

Bitter Clinger on May 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I was more upset by the killing of his 16 year old son.

melle1228 on May 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

By letting everyone vote – multiple times, and illegally, if need be.

Right, Rand? Wouldn’t want to offend anyone or anything.

Midas on May 21, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Is this the Hope or the Change, lefties, because it’s gotten sort of vague since Dog Eater took office.

Remember the old days when killing a terrorist only created more terrorists? Sooooo….uh…when you kill an American terrorist….uh….what happens?

Bishop on May 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Since Hairy Greed and his co- dung beetles have been calling Cliven Bundy a terrorist,
when Hussein kills the Bundy family with a drone strike ,
that would be legal , right trolls ?

burrata on May 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I think there are 52 who need droning.

rbj on May 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I was more upset by the killing of his 16 year old son.

melle1228 on May 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Even that one didn’t bother me because al-Awlaki permitted his son to travel with another al-Qaeda terrorist, which put him in position to be liquidated. I find fault with al-Awlaki on that one.

Bitter Clinger on May 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

among the Republicans voting no were … John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Well, Grahamnesty is up for reelection. Strange about McCain though.

cat_owner on May 21, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Here’s the roll. Not only did not a single Republican vote yes, among the Republicans voting no were … John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Didn’t they scoff at Paul’s filibuster last year?

Leadership…

JohnGalt23 on May 21, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Obama: “I just learned about these drones on TV”

faraway on May 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Yeah…. good thing there are TVs in the White House. Don’t know how he would know what’s going on otherwise.

cat_owner on May 21, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Onward to authoritarianism!

Ward Cleaver on May 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Bitter Clinger on May 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I agree. Let’s also not forget that it is SOP for terrorist to use civilians as human shields. Even if they get killed, the propaganda arms don’t hesitate to focus their attention, not on the crimes of the terrorist, but on the deaths of those human shields.

Athos on May 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Obama: “I just learned about these drones on TV”

faraway on May 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

What, did they break in during Game of Thrones?

Ward Cleaver on May 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

This is what Rand Paul is good for. He should stick to this.

CommieJuice on May 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM

How can we confirm a judge who thinks it’s legal to kill Americans without due process?

More proof Rand Paul just isn’t all that much.

We elected a President who thinks that – TWICE – so why would Paul think Democrats have any problem with it? And under Reid, no Republican votes are needed to confirm.

Next thing, he’ll be shocked we have deficits.

Adjoran on May 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Tough argument though, what is the criteria for deciding that standard law enforcement techniques won’t work.

Bishop on May 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Social progress is like a moving train, you’re free to stand in the way, but don’t expect us to save you when you get run over.

rogerb on May 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Update: Here’s the roll. Not only did not a single Republican vote yes, among the Republicans voting no were … John McCain and Lindsey Graham

…they knew Harry had the votes.

KOOLAID2 on May 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Tough argument though, what is the criteria for deciding that standard law enforcement techniques won’t work.

Bishop on May 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

If you need a Navy Seal team to conduct a bin Laden-type raid in a hostile country in order to bring someone to justice, I’m gonna say standard law enforcement techniques aren’t up to the task in that case.

Bitter Clinger on May 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Disappointed in Wyden on this. There’s a lot I disagree with him on, but (and this is something I won’t say about either of my Dem senators, Feinstein and Boxer) if you have to have Democrats in the Senate he’s one of the ones I’d keep.

As for GOP drone strikes on US citizens – it’s conceivable that a ‘pub President might value expedience over principle, but I’d like to see a public presentation of the case.

Frankly, the Civil War makes great precedent for indictment-free perforation of putative citizens who take up arms against the US, and I’m sure we’d find US citizens in the ranks of the German and Austrian armies in WWI, the German and Japanese in WWI (not to mention various central European Axis allies we bombed), etc.

It’s really kind of a shame that shit like Bill Ayers didn’t have the courage of his convictions to go off and do something that’d get him shot on foreign shores. We might not have an Obama Administration to be going all Hamlet over this.

JEM on May 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

We already have a president who boasts about his proficiency in using drones to kill suspects, including american citizens, without due process.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

AZCoyote on May 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Here’s the roll

Thats what you blast out on TV going into the midterms. An ad that starts “Do we live in a democracy, or dictatorship? According to (insert name of demorat) we live in a dictatorship”.

Zaggs on May 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Actually, now that I think about it, if LBJ and Nixon had had Predators, Ayers might not have lived to mentor Obama.

Ergo, while I may not be in favor of drone strikes on US citizens overseas, I am starting to think that tossing a few Hellfires and Mavericks into US universities might not be a bad thing.

JEM on May 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

What, did they break in during Game of Thrones?

Ward Cleaver on May 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

King Putt probably loved and envied King Joffrey – well, at least until the wedding….

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Tough argument though, what is the criteria for deciding that standard law enforcement techniques won’t work.

Bishop on May 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

If you need a Navy Seal team to conduct a bin Laden-type raid in a hostile country in order to bring someone to justice, I’m gonna say standard law enforcement techniques aren’t up to the task in that case.

Bitter Clinger on May 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Define “standard law enforcement techniques”.
From what I’ve seen lately, SEAL team style SWAT teams making late night no-knock home invasions, and shooting the occupants, even if it’s the wrong house, seems to be the standard.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Tough argument though, what is the criteria for deciding that standard law enforcement techniques won’t work.

Bishop on May 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I’m thinking assassination has never been a law enforcement technique, nor is it considered in the same way as a battlefield death of a citizen who is an enemy combatant.

Why would we agree its okay to assassinate an Islamist flunkie (who holds US citizenship) but leave the heads of terror states alive?

Drone one but not the other?

Dolce Far Niente on May 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

So they are all “Wacko Birds” now…?

d1carter on May 21, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Dolce Far Niente on May 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

These are just extreme late-term abortions, not assassinations. Completely legal ya racist.

cornbred on May 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

I do think Barron should have cited “Inter arma enim silent leges” and kicked it back to Obama as CinC. To my mind, that makes Barron a little more of a judicial activist than I’m comfortable with.

PersonFromPorlock on May 21, 2014 at 6:15 PM

It will be interesting seeing the Hawks on the right staying home or voting for Killary while the doves on the left stay home or vote for Paul.

Skipity on May 21, 2014 at 7:15 PM

I would have droned him. I don’t accept his supposed constitutional protection to kill Americans unhindered.

Buddahpundit on May 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

As much as I respect Rand Paul I don’t see how someone who clearly becomes an active terrorist & traitor at war against the USA can be considered an “American citizen”. A person can renounce and revoke his citizenship and does so when he or she becomes a traitor and an active terrorist against the US. I don’t see (along with Judge Collyer) the Constitutional problem, when this is duly established, in targeting him on foreign soil where it is not practical to arrest him since we are essentially at war against such terrorists.

Chessplayer on May 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

He can only try. We are holding on until 2016, creating interference where we can with the tools we have to work with.

Someday a book will be written about this period and this administration and those who read it will have trouble believing it to be truthful, thinking nobody can be that bad, that often, that much.

archer52 on May 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM