ACLU lines up behind Paul on new filibuster threat
May 16th, 2014
04:36 PM ET
5 months ago

ACLU lines up behind Paul on new filibuster threat

(CNN) – The American Civil Liberties Union echoed Sen. Rand Paul's call to delay a Senate vote Friday on a controversial judicial nominee.

A day after the Kentucky Republican announced his intention to stall the nomination of David Barron to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the ACLU backed his threat to stage a talking filibuster until President Barack Obama's administration turns over legal opinions on much-debated drone program to senators.

"The Senate should have access to all these opinions," said Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel for the ACLU.

The ACLU has repeatedly urged senators to postpone voting on Barron's nomination until the White House makes all his legal opinions on targeted consumption available.

A former acting assistant attorney general for the Obama administration, Barron authored at least two controversial classified opinions justifying the potential use of a drone strike against American citizens.

While the Obama administration did make those two memos available to senators, the group says federal officials are playing a linguistic shell game.

The ACLU says the White House only posted opinions dealing with the targeting of U.S. citizens. That would leave at least seven other still unshared opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel dealing with the targeted killing program according to the group.

They believe at least one of those opinions was authored by Barron.

"The administration has maintained this word game designed to hide from senators, including the chairman of the intelligence committee, more legal opinions on the killing program," Anders told CNN.

Though the ACLU refuses to directly endorse or oppose any presidential nominations, the group said it's supportive of any tactic to delay a vote on the Barron nomination.

"No senator can meaningfully carry out his or her constitutional obligation without reading all of Mr. Barron's opinions on the drone program," Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington office, told CNN.


Filed under: Congress • Rand Paul
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. just asking

    until President Barack Obama's administration turns over legal opinions on much-debated drone program to senators.
    "The Senate should have access to all these opinions," said Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel for the ACLU.
    ---

    the most transparent administration in history huh? does the lying ever end with these people??? even the far left aclu is calling them out on their lies now.

    May 16, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    RWNJs will use the Rand Paul, ACLU alliance to eliminate him from presidential consideration.

    May 16, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    The government is turning against its citizens. We can only hope there are enough people who reognize the threats to freedom in our country, to prevent any more advances in the quest for dictatorship in America.

    May 16, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. tom l

    At least the ACLU is intellectually honest which is more than we can say for several of the members from the gang who, for some reason, oppose Rand Paul on this issue.

    May 16, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    ""LOL. Cutting taxes right as an observable housing bubble takes off and the economy is measurably growing is not proof that taxes CAUSED increased revenues or job creation. Jesus H, man, are you never ever going to learn the difference between causation and correlation?"
    ========

    Whatever you say and however you want to try and get away from the fact that there was one drastic change – tax rates for EVERYBODY – and increased revenues followed. When Kennedy cut taxes, revenues went up. When Reagan cut taxes, revenues went up. So....you want to talk about economies built on matchsticks? How about the great rise of the stock market with valuations at levels that were so far beyond normal numbers that led to everyone "feeling rich" yet that was a strong economy for the Snifster.

    You can use your causation =/= correlation as much as you want. Fact is, revenues went up every year from 2002-2007 and there is no way to get around that." I can assure you, people at the Congressional Research Service and Tax Policy Center and other non-partisan academic research outfits were well aware that in all of the instances you cited, the tax cuts were accompanied by myriad other economic factors that were the real causes of subsequent increases in revenue. I don't need to explain them to you. If you want to refuse to read the studies so you can continue to live in a convenient alternate reality where you get to pretend that the one and only singular factor effecting the economies trajectory at the time those tax cuts were made was the tax cuts themselves, then you go right ahead and live in that little cartoon fantasy of yours. It doesn't change the real facts on the ground or turn correlation into causation. Oh, and seriously dude, that incoherent last sentence of yours just signals it's past your nap time.

    LOL again. The Bush tax cuts were not "the one drastic change." The housing market took off like Speedy Gonzalez and we all know why that happened.

    May 16, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    oops, edit:

    ""LOL. Cutting taxes right as an observable housing bubble takes off and the economy is measurably growing is not proof that taxes CAUSED increased revenues or job creation. Jesus H, man, are you never ever going to learn the difference between causation and correlation?"
    ========

    Whatever you say and however you want to try and get away from the fact that there was one drastic change – tax rates for EVERYBODY – and increased revenues followed. When Kennedy cut taxes, revenues went up. When Reagan cut taxes, revenues went up. So....you want to talk about economies built on matchsticks? How about the great rise of the stock market with valuations at levels that were so far beyond normal numbers that led to everyone "feeling rich" yet that was a strong economy for the Snifster.

    You can use your causation =/= correlation as much as you want. Fact is, revenues went up every year from 2002-2007 and there is no way to get around that."
    ====
    LOL again. The Bush tax cuts were not "the one drastic change." The housing market took off like Speedy Gonzalez and we all know why that happened. I can assure you, people at the Congressional Research Service and Tax Policy Center and other non-partisan academic research outfits were well aware when they conducted their studies that in all of the instances you cited, the tax cuts were preceded and accompanied by myriad other economic factors that were the real causes of subsequent increases in revenue. I don't need to explain them to you. If you want to refuse to read the studies so you can continue to live in a convenient alternate reality where you get to pretend that the one and only singular factor effecting the economy's trajectory at the time those tax cuts were made was the tax cuts themselves, then you go right ahead and live in that little cartoon fantasy of yours. It doesn't change the real facts on the ground or turn correlation into causation. Oh, and seriously dude, that incoherent last sentence of yours just signals it's past your nap time: yes the revenues went up.....nobody denies that....we were discussing WHY they went up and your blatantly dishonest and false attempt to portray it as a result of the Bush tax cuts. It wasn't.

    May 16, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. President Messiah Darkness

    The American Civil Liberties Union echoed Sen. Rand Paul's call to delay a Senate vote Friday on a controversial judicial nominee.
    --–

    I'm gonna drone the backside of this little twerp if he keeps this up. I have a pen, a phone and a drone.

    May 16, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. 2_indy1600

    Can you imagine the "memos" that this WH has refused to release? Still waiting for Obama's thesis from Harvard, and the DOJ is just as obstructive as the house of reps. Let's see all the books Bill Clinton was reading at Oxford before it was "suggested" he leave...300 I believe, before he left for his world tour. But as Bill told Peter Jennings, "Don't go there, Peter."
    I'll take Paul's filibuster over Bill Clinton's LIFE LONG filibuster any day.

    May 16, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Rick McDaniel
    The government is turning against its citizens. We can only hope there are enough people who reognize the threats to freedom in our country, to prevent any more advances in the quest for dictatorship in America.
    --------–
    I agree with the ACLU – the President needs to release the memos. However I do not fantasize this into the dictatorship you are spinning here.

    I shudder to think of this country if the radical religious right took over. The Corporate Theocracy would end America. Check out the articla about the woman in Sudan sentenced to death for not converting to the state religion. It could happen here.

    May 16, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. smith

    Drones should be used as a last resort to take out a terrorist. The fact that they kill innocent people along with their target can have a negative ripple and breed more terrorist.We as a nation have become numb to the use drones. I guess as long as a machine is doing the killing its ok.

    May 16, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Rand Paul - Compelling evidence that advanced aliens have visited the earth........but then left behind other malfunctioning lifeforms that they had brought along for the ride.

    May 16, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Sniffit - way to whack the maggot. I revel in the fact that [R]ightwingers are stupid enough to use their free-speech rights to prove it to the rest of us.

    May 16, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. J Anthony

    Idiots, there is nothing "far left" about this administration. It's neoliberal corporate-centrist. Same as the last one. The differences are just the surface. Disgusting how concern for people and the General Welfare is seen as bad or too radical by wingnut righties, unless it's for their own welfare. Hypocrites.

    May 16, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    I want to do a Rip Van Winkle and wake up after Hillary is elected or at least in time for vote for her and miss all this crapola and these losers thinking they can be president.

    May 16, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. vbscript2

    You know it's bad when even the ACLU is willing to openly oppose a Democratic administration.

    May 16, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  16. penguin

    The ACLU and Rand Paul agreeing on something! That's monumental in itself. But I should talk- I even agree with Rand Paul on this one

    May 16, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Chipster

    @Sniffit
    LOL! Seriously, you may not recall the actual Reagan years but I do. His huge tax cut caused such an explosion of the deficit and our national debt that he raised taxes in 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987! The trick was to do it in a few areas at time so that people like you will claim he cut taxes but you won't remember how many times he had to raise them to correct his error.

    May 16, 2014 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  18. vj

    I am with Rand Paul

    May 17, 2014 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  19. Thomas

    I thought Rand Paul said, If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash, I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”.

    It's all an act for the Aqua Buddha filibustering " Rand Paul " . RAnd needs his face in the news , after all he's running for president .

    May 17, 2014 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  20. superglide96

    Barron should be appointed house janitor and gopher boy. Appropriate position for yes man.

    May 17, 2014 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  21. Robert constant

    Here is the problem about involving too many people into American intelligence. Even elected American politicians have to be given classified information only on a need to know basis. Edward Snowden, who has defected to Russia has contributed to the campaigns of Ron and Rand Paul. They have voiced support for this chum of Putin. I don't trust their lack of patriotic judgement.
    The ACLU does a lot of good things. Protecting the people who gave us 911 is not one of them. Politics makes strange bedfellows , and I will go with the NSA and the Government on these calls. We are still cleaning up the people on Bin Laden's hard drives captured when he was killed. The drones do this without risking more American lives.

    May 17, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  22. Robert constant

    The filibuster is an anti democratic procedure. It allows a few extremists to frustrate the will of the democratic majority. It has outlived its usefulness.

    May 17, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  23. Paul Cooper

    The question everyone should be asking is why Obama wants a federal judge who believes it is legal for the U.S. government to murder U.S. citizens without a trial or even any attempt to arrest them. What does the president have planned for the next two years?

    May 17, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |