Democrats Refuse Non-Binding Resolution Limiting Presidential Drones against Non-Combatants, Too

I noted earlier that Eric Holder suggested that a law prohibiting the use of drones against non-combatant Americans in the US would be unconstitutional.

Grassley: Do you believe Congress has the Constitutional authority to pass a law prohibiting the President’s authority to use drone aircraft to use lethal force against Americans on US soil and if not, why not?

Holder: I’m not sure that such a bill would be constitutional. It might run contrary to the Article II powers that the President has.

That’s interesting background for a move Rand Paul tried at roughly hour 8 of his filibuster.

He proposed a non-binding resolution saying precisely what Grassley had laid out 10 hour earlier, voicing the position of the Senate to be opposed to the “use of drones to target Americans on American soil who pose no imminent threat.”

As I understand it, the resolution was independent from the Brennan nomination (so it would not disrupt that, aside from a vote).

But — as just one of two Democrats to show up during this filibuster (Ron Wyden showed up in support during the 3:00 hour) — Dick Durbin showed up to oppose Paul’s unanimous consent to call for that resolution.

Durbin promised his subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee would hold a hearing on drones. Nevertheless, he objected to Paul’s resolution. He suggested more Constitutional review of this simple measure was needed.

A leader of the Democratic party (and the President’s fellow Chicagoan) opposed a non-binding resolution prohibiting the use of drones in the US against non-combatants out of Constitutional concerns.

I’ve got a lot of theories why that might be. A belief this is all about making trouble for another nomination. insistence that nothing limit potential Article II claims.

But I keep thinking about the fact that there’s a wrongful death suit out there, with state secrets as the fallback claim crumbling with the public discussion.

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9 Responses to Democrats Refuse Non-Binding Resolution Limiting Presidential Drones against Non-Combatants, Too

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bmaz RT @kgosztola: Why is Sanders target of questions on whether Trump will succeed in winning over his supporters? Shouldn't that be asked of…
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bmaz This is irrelevant at this point. The real point for this question has always been after a Clinton win in November. https://t.co/sPjdGu8O6G
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bmaz @DanCBarr Yeah, I should have held off sending my ballot off. Oh well, it is a little ugly yes or no.
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bmaz @sbagen And they did it without that blithering idiot Lester Munson!
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bmaz @sbagen Can't remember how many minutes, but yeah a full discussion, with clear implication the extension is significant.
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bmaz No, the discussion on Mike and Mike was totally uninformed+stupid. The appeal extension doesn't mean diddly squat https://t.co/8nDTv7Qaw1
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bmaz RT @jacklgoldsmith: Trump is "face of Scalia’s jurisprudence...in election where Repubs invited judgment fr Amer. people on [his] work" htt…
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bmaz This is one of the most reactionary and un-democratic suggestions imaginable. https://t.co/Q7k7hmUHUT
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emptywheel @joanneleon Yeah, I think "fascistic" is analytically problematic this year, bc it's a word people will only apply to Trump.
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emptywheel The IC Can’t Even Decide What Is Classified in Hillary’s Emails But They’re Attempting To Do Same on the Internet https://t.co/Jaq8U9QgYT
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JimWhiteGNV Think piece needed: GOP primary voters are very much like militants trained by the CIA in how they turn against their creators.
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JimWhiteGNV We survived Nixon, an evil president. We survived W, an idiot president. Could we survive Trump, an evil idiot president? Dunno.
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