Judge ‘Troubled’ by Obama’s Claim to Be Able to Kill Citizens

Insists Executive Branch Is Not a Check On Itself

President Obama’s efforts to get a federal case against his administration for killing US citizens Anwar Awlaki and his son, Abdulrahman Awlaki thrown out don’t seem to be going to well, with the judge noting she was “troubled” by the administration’s claim to be able to kill citizens at will without court oversight.

Judge Rosemary Collyer appeared incredulous when asking the US Deputy Attorney General, Brian Hauck, if he was seriously suggesting that US citizens targeted by the US government for assassination overseas have “no constitutional rights,” asking how broadly this claim was extended.

Hauck insisted that the citizens theoretically have constitutional rights, but that they can’t be enforced in court before or after they are executed by the president because judges can’t second guess the president on killing people.

Collyer spurned the argument that the executive branch could provide a check on its own killings, nor did she appear impressed by Hauck’s warning that the “threat of litigation” could distract officials from ordering more killings.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.