- The Washington Times - Monday, May 12, 2014

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul penned an op-ed in The New York Times Sunday, demanding President Obama to release legal memos that justified drone strikes on U.S. citizens overseas — memos that were reportedly written or signed by the president’s newest nominee to a federal appeals court.

Mr. Obama nominated Harvard Law School scholar David J. Barron to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, but Mr. Barron’s selection has been delayed due to concerns over at least two of his legal memos.

According to Mr. Paul’s op-ed, however, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said, “There are at least eleven OLC opinions on the targeted killing or drone program,” referring to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“Now Mr. Obama is refusing to share that legal argument with the American people,” Mr. Paul argued.

“It has not been established whether Mr. Barron wrote all those memos, but we do know that his controversial classified opinions provided the president with a legal argument and justification to target an American citizen for execution without a trial by jury or due process.”

** FILE ** David Barron, 2007. (Associated Press)
** FILE ** David Barron, 2007. (Associated Press) more >

The Republican wrote that he agreed with the ACLU, which argued that “no senator can meaningfully carry out his or her constitutional obligation to provide ‘advice and consent’ on this nomination to a lifetime position as a federal appellate judge without being able to read Mr. Barron’s most important and consequential legal writing.”

Mr. Paul continued: “In battle, combatants engaged in war against America get no due process and may lawfully be killed. But citizens not in a battlefield, however despicable, are guaranteed a trial by our Constitution.”

“The rule of law exists to protect those who are minorities by virtue of their skin color or their beliefs,” he concluded. “That is why I am fighting this nomination. And I will do so until Mr. Barron frankly discusses his opinions on executing Americans without trial, and until the American people are able to participate in one of the most consequential debates in our history.”