Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’s 13 hour, old fashioned filibuster focused the nation’s attention on the Obama Administration’s increased use of unmanned drones. Obama has made extensive use of the technology to combat suspected terrorists overseas. There is growing concern, however, that the Administration will use drones to assassinate Americans here. In response to the filibuster, Democrats in the Illinois State Senate, where Obama got his political start, have moved a bill to restrict the use of drones.
Yesterday, the IL Senate Criminal Law committee advanced legislation that would restrict the use of drones by law enforcement.
The Senate Dems action comes after GOP state Rep. Adam Brown filed a resolution in the state House urging IL’s congressional delegation to take action restricting the use of drones within the United States.
“The use of drones to kill Americans here at home would trample on the constitutional due process rights of all Americans,” Rep. Brown said. “We have a responsibility to protect the civil liberties of all our citizens. The last thing we want is for our hometowns to become warzones.”
Few Americans paid much attention to our increased use of unmanned drones. Our use of the technology raises very basic constitutional questions. Paul’s filibuster put a spotlight on these questions. Even Obama’s former colleagues in the IL Senate believe we should put restrictions on their use.
Paul’s filibuster may have ended Thursday morning. Its impact, however, is still rippling through the country.