In a move apparently designed to take all the fun out of the Executive Office, The Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a brief in federal court. It responded to the Obama administration's claim that no court should be able to limit the executive's authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens if the executive has unilaterally determined that those people pose a threat to the nation. It seems that these two spoilsport groups had the nerve to challenge the government's claimed authority to carry out targeted killings of U.S. citizens outside the context of armed conflict who do not pose an imminent threat. I guess some certain people must not even trust the government!
"If the government's arguments were accepted, the current administration and every future administration would have unreviewable authority to carry out targeted killings of Americans deemed to be enemies of the state," said Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU. "While that power would be limited to contexts of armed conflict, the government has argued that the armed conflict against al Qaeda extends everywhere, indefinitely. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented claim, and one that we urge the courts to reject unequivocally. The courts have a crucial role to play in ensuring that the government's counterterrorism policies are consistent with the Constitution."