Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) may reprise his infamous 2013 anti-drone filibuster Wednesday to fight President Obama’s nomination of David Barron to a federal appeals court, hoping to shine a light on the would-be justice’s position on that same issue.
“The nominee, David Barron, has written a defense of drone executions of American citizens not directly involved in combat,” Paul will say on the Senate floor during a speech Wednesday, according to one excerpt of the remarks provided exclusively to Breitbart News.
“Make no mistake, these memos don’t limit drone executions to one individual these memos become historic precedent for killing citizens abroad,” that excerpt Paul’s office provided to Breitbart News continues. “Some have argued that releasing the memos is sufficient to allow his nomination. This isn’t a debate about transparency. This is a debate about whether or not American citizens not involved in combat are guaranteed due process.”
Other excerpts have surfaced in other reports and have been pushed by publicly by Paul’s office in advisories.
According to Business Insider, for instance, Paul will say: ‘”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. 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.”
A Paul spokesperson said the senator plans to speak on the Senate floor for an “extended amount of time.”
Does that mean he’ll mount another 13-hour talking filibuster? Potentially, all depending on whether Senate rules allow him to, aides say.
President Obama has nominated Barron to the first U.S. circuit court of appeals. Controversy over Barron, a Harvard professor, has emerged because when he was the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice in the early days of this administration, he authored two separate classified legal opinions arguing in favor of the drone strike to kill Anwar Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who became a radical Islamist then moved overseas.
Left-wing groups have urged the administration to make more information about Barron’s memos public, but Paul argues that simple transparency about the matter just isn’t enough. The Associated Press reported late Tuesday that the DOJ was considering releasing the Barron memos as an effort to halt criticism of his nomination. However, Paul argues the administration needs to agree it is not acceptable to kill American citizens with drones when they are not engaged in combat.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), for his part, thinks the nomination vote will succeed tomorrow. “There were just some misunderstandings,” Reid said Tuesday, according to Politico. “Once everything was explained, I think — I don’t know if everybody — but certainly most everyone on our caucus is satisfied.”