Rand Paul Protests Judicial Nominee’s Writings On Drones

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday took to the Senate floor to protest the nomination of a federal judge over concerns about the nominee’s writings on drones.

“I cannot and will not support a lifetime appointment of someone who believes it is ok to kill an American citizen not involved in combat without a trial,” Paul said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.

Paul started speaking out against the nomination of Professor David Barron to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit shortly before 10 A.M. on Wednesday, speaking for about 20 minutes.

“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 said. “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.”

Earlier this year, Paul drew attention to the use of drones by filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA for 13 hours.

Unlike his filibuster of Brennan, though, Paul is limited by Senate rules in how long he can talk this time. The Senate is expected to take up a vote on Barron this afternoon.

Last week, Paul released a statement previewing his opposition to Barron.

“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.

“While the President forbids me from discussing what is in the memos, I can tell you what is not in the memos,” Paul added. “There is no valid legal precedent to justify the killing of an American citizen not engaged in combat. In fact, one can surmise as much because the legal question at hand has never been adjudicated. Therefore, I shall not only oppose the nomination of David Barron, but will filibuster.”

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