Secret Drone Strike Memo to Be Released

Move comes as fight over Barron nomination looms

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 21, 2014 12:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Obama administration has decided to release a secret memo explaining its justification for killing American citizens in drone strikes overseas, sources tell the AP. The decision comes as the Senate prepares to vote on the nomination of the memo's author, David Barron, to the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals. GOP Sen. Rand Paul has vowed to filibuster the nomination of the Harvard professor and former Justice Department official, and some Democratic senators have also called for the public release of the document.

Paul plans to argue that Barron's memos "disrespect the Bill of Rights" and any official that "argues that the president has the power to kill Americans not involved in combat" is "not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court," according to prepared remarks released yesterday, Politico reports. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he definitely has enough votes to confirm Barron, reports the Hill, which notes that Reid only needs a simple majority to quash Paul's filibuster. Democratic opposition to Barron "was just some misunderstanding," Reid told reporters. "Once everything was explained ... most everyone in our caucus was satisfied."

This May 2013 photo shows Harvard Law Professor David Barron during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
This May 2013 photo shows Harvard Law Professor David Barron during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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