- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that he likely wouldn’t attempt a filibuster to stall a confirmation vote for David J. Barron — who as a Justice Department lawyer wrote a memo justifying drone killings — to be a First Circuit appeals court judge.

“They wouldn’t give me the extensive time today,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, told Roll Call. “I am going to speak probably right before the vote and try to convince some people. I don’t think I’m having much luck though.”

He famously mounted a nearly 13-hour talking filibuster in March to protest U.S. drone strikes, temporarily blocking the nomination of John Brennan to become CIA director.

Mr. Paul blamed the so-called “nuclear option” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, used to limit the ability of senators to filibuster with preventing him from repeating the stunt.

“They’ve killed the filibuster,” Mr. Paul said of Senate Democrats. “There’s no real great sort of aim to draw attention to something that there is no possibility of even delaying. So, really this would require courage on the part of some Democrats, and I don’t think they’re evaluating this as if it were a Bush nominee. I think they’re evaluating it from a partisan point of view.”

The White House announced Tuesday that it would release the previously secret Barron memo on drone strikes, which helped clear the way for the upcoming vote.

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to limit debate on the nomination. A confirmation vote could come as soon as Thursday.

Mr. Paul said he would likely speak on the Senate floor shortly before the confirmation vote to try to convince his colleagues to oppose Mr. Barron.

He spoke for about 30 minutes Wednesday about how Mr. Barron’s memo justifying drone stikes should be enough to disqualify him for a seat on what is considered the second-highest court in the land.

“Someone who rubber-stamps and grants such power to a president is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court,” Mr. Paul said.

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