Paul to filibuster Obama judicial nominee, author of drone memos
May 15th, 2014
07:31 PM ET
9 years ago

Paul to filibuster Obama judicial nominee, author of drone memos

Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul has set the stage for an encore.

Fourteen months after the Republican firebrand from Kentucky railed against President Barack Obama administration's unwillingness to rule out using drones on American soil - and the lack of judicial justification for such hypothetical attacks - Paul vowed on Thursday to deliver a repeat performance.

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This time it’s over the President’s nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

"I shall not only oppose the nomination of David Barron," Paul said in a statement, "but will filibuster."

Barron, a Harvard law professor and a former acting assistant attorney general for the Obama administration, authored at least two controversial classified opinions justifying the potential use of a drone strike against American citizens - an effective death sentence - without a trial.

After pressure from several voices in the Senate, including Paul's, the White House agreed to show some of Barron's work to senators.

While acknowledging he could not reveal the contents of the memo, Paul said the documents contained "no valid legal precedent to justify the killing of an American citizen not engaged in combat."

Or, more simply, Paul said, "I am not satisfied."

While the Fifth Amendment forbids the premeditated killing of an American outside of any battlefield, the administration and the Bush administration before it have attempted to extend the definition of what constitutes an immediate and unacceptable threat to United States citizens.

In a New York Times op-ed published Sunday, Paul argued for the White House to release redacted copies of the opinions to the public and harshly criticized the Oval Office for attempting to elevate one of their authors, Barron, "one level below the Supreme Court."

"I can't imagine appointing someone to the federal bench ... without fully understanding that person's views concerning the extrajudicial killing of American citizens," Paul wrote. "But President Obama is seeking to do just that."

Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate,
waged a 13-hour talk-a-thon last March over his drone concerns to delay a vote to confirm Obama's nominee at the time to run the CIA, John Brennan.

While Paul said then that he did not believe the President would "drop a Hellfire missile on a cafe in Houston," he called his outright refusal to rule out that possibility troubling.

"When he was a member of this body, he had a much higher standard on civil liberties than he seems to (have) now," Paul said last March.

Filed under: Obama administration • Rand Paul
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. 2_indy1600

    Govt supported extrajudicial murder by drone; how nice. Harvard man, though.

    May 15, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. g

    this guy works hard everyday for the Koch brothers ,his owners

    May 15, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    You got my Rand Paul

    May 15, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. DJ Ricochetfla

    I wonder is he going to talk for himself, is he going to read a speech someone else already made like he's done before, or is he just going to search through wikipedia again.

    May 15, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. Winston Smith

    Filibuster and be damned. You sir, are so inconsequential it's laughable.

    May 15, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  6. J Anthony

    Nobody seemed to have a problem with lies and expanded executive power while W was in office. Now it's a problem though. You righties REEK of hypocrisy.

    May 15, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Name awad ayyad

    I think 2016 election needs a president that can stand for in making decisions not just to be the middle men that tried to make beats the parties our freedom and democracy need to be preserved without NSA abusing it a lot of issues need to tackled family

    May 15, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. storm chaser 101

    The more rand runs his mouth,the more people will see he's not nor will ever be ready for prime time.

    May 15, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  9. BBunsen

    "No valid legal precedent?" Yes, when I want a legal opinion, I always ask an ophthalmologist, just as I immediately go to an attorney when I have a problem with my eyes.

    May 15, 2014 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  10. BErnard

    washington is like this noise without word

    May 15, 2014 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  11. Prof Fricke

    At some point – everyone who becomes President decides that the patronage and power of Caesar was more efficient.

    May 16, 2014 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  12. Thomas

    It's Thursday night ,
    Rand Paul needs some face time on the networks for the weekend , maybe a sunday news show or two .
    After all Randy is running for president , in his Aqua Buddha dreams .

    Rand Rubio / Marco Paul 2016
    "Pancho and Lefty"

    May 16, 2014 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. king

    mmm i remembered how the repubs screamed about Libya, as soon as the president intervene and got rid of khadafy, they dragged him for that. they screamed Syria and how the president wasn't doing nothing, but as soon as the president besiege Syria to attack their government, the repubs congress was set to vote not to intervene. the president knew full well that if he had stepped over the repubs led congress and attacked Syria he would have been impeached. so the president backed down from attacking Syria, the repubs have been calling him week ever since. i thought the president should have flex our military might by doing exercises with countries in the former soviet block, to show Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, he would have to deal with the might of the most powerful armed forces ever to exist on this planet. the president chose to go the diplomatic way instead, and Putin still backed down from invading Ukraine. this president sees what war cost is all about, his approach is way cheaper and better than the repubs shoot first and ask questions later policies. now as for Ron Paul, who think government should do nothing for the american people and nothing in the international arena, is another story.

    May 16, 2014 02:41 am at 2:41 am |

    Can't wait to see Thom Tillis,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Rove,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Dopey Rand Paul and his stunts will be long gone by then.

    May 16, 2014 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  15. Marie MD

    Why don't we send curly top to look for and destroy enemy holdouts.
    Let's see how fast he would change his mind.
    And pauly, you will NEVER be satisfied because you will NEVER be president so go find yourself another toy you want to buy.

    May 16, 2014 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  16. Steve

    I absolutely agree with Sen. Paul on this one. The preemptive use of drones to attack and kill U.S. citizens not engaged in combat is a blatant violation of our constitution's guarantee of due process, and any person who advocates such an action has no place on any court in this land.

    May 16, 2014 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  17. Dean

    Good. None of Obama's noninees should be approved.

    May 16, 2014 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. salty dog

    Look at me everybody, I care about americans, too funny.

    May 16, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  19. salty dog

    The funniest part of this, is his theatrics about strict adherance to the constitution, yet wants to change the laws to allow him to fulfill his personal political ambitions, see it everyday with the gop, SMH. You have to have a certain personality to accept this type of BS, and still complain about the Democrats behavior, you really don't have to completely out of it to vote gop, but it certainly helps. Oh and Donna, the Koch brothers spend hunderdds of millions to lie to the public, and you call it being informed, explains a lot. You know as well as I do, informed people who aren't wealthy don't vote Republican, there just isn't any reason for them too. Your BS is just that, tax cuts for the wealthiest is called triclke down economics, which we all know simply adds to the inequality, that's why its record inequality, worse than the gilded age, sorry you don't have the mental maturity to accept that, you would have to see yourself for what you are, and that ain't gonna happen is it

    May 16, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I have no problem with drones. You hang out with terrorists you better watch your back!

    May 16, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    Truth is none of these Republicans care about USA....truth.

    May 16, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  22. tom l

    Screw due process! It's so funny to read all the comments from the gang and how they are totally cool with a drone killing an American (and most of them are against capital punishment) because their guy is in office.

    Just imagine for one minute if George Bush had this policy....

    May 16, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  23. tom l

    J Anthony

    Nobody seemed to have a problem with lies and expanded executive power while W was in office. Now it's a problem though. You righties REEK of hypocrisy.

    As long as you didn't complain when the Patriot Act was signed and you were ok with the policies of George Bush then you can absolutely make that statement. So, let me ask you, did you complain of the overreach of George Bush and are you now ok with this? Because if you are, how does that make you any better. You're doing the exact same thing just in the opposite way. Because you sure aren't complaining now....

    May 16, 2014 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen Paul's filibuster makes for good political theater but doesn't enhance his image as a potential presidential candidate.

    May 16, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Aww, how cute! Little Ayn Rand Paul is going to throw another hissy fit. Gittchie, Gittchie Goo, Little Fella!

    May 16, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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