Saturday, August 7, 2010

Groups Get License to Sue for Government-Ordered Extrajudicial Killing

The Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU this week received a license from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control to represent Specially Designated Global Terrorist and target of a government-ordered extra-judicial killing Nassar al-Aulaqi.  The license came one day after the groups filed suit claiming that OFAC's licensing regulations are unconstitutional.

The groups' case challenging the ordered extra-judicial killing can now move forward.  (The groups also announced that they would continue to challenge OFAC's licensing regulations as unconstitutional.)  No word yet on a complaint.

Here's the gist of their case against extra judicial killings, form the CCR resource page on al-Aulaqi's case:

While the government can legitimately use lethal force against civilians in certain circumstances outside of a judicial process, the authority contemplated by senior Obama administration officials is far broader than what the Constitution and international law allow.  Under international human rights law, lethal force may be used in peacetime only when there is an imminent threat of deadly attack and when lethal force is a last resort.  A program in which names are added to a list through a secret bureaucratic process and remain there for months at a time does not appear to be limited to imminent threats, and it is not at all clear that the U.S. government had exhausted other options before ordering Al-Aulaqi's execution.

Our analysis of government authority to order extra-judicial killings is here.


Executive Authority, International, News, Recent Cases, Separation of Powers, War Powers | Permalink

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