Confirming Injustice

May 22, 2014

The U.S. Senate today confirmed President Barack Obama's nomination of David Barron to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Barron's nomination rightly sparked controversy since he authored a secret memo while working for the Obama administration that justified using a drone strike to kill a U.S. citizen (despite constitutional protections to the contrary). Sadly, the vote basically went down party lines as only two Democrats - Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia - were willing to challenge their leader. If Barron had been nominated by a Republican president, most senators likely would have flipped votes from today. Yet, there are several Democrats who had been strong voices against the constitutional abuses of President George W. Bush (especially on issues of torture and Guantanamo) who sold out their moral credibility with their Barron vote by going along with the party mandate.

Senator Rand Paul at 2012 Iowa Straw Poll event
Republican Rand Paul, one of the few Republicans who likely would have remained morally consistent and opposed this nomination even if it came from a Republican president, led the charge against Barron over the issue of drone strikes on U.S. citizens. The Obama/Barron drone policy remains unconstitutional and immoral. It is sad that Barron now has a lifetime appointment on an important federal court. It is sad that so many Democratic senators were unwilling to buck the party line. It is sad that Obama's promised "hope" and "change" turned out to be just more of the same types of unconstitutional and immoral war actions that his predecessor in the Oval Office pursued. It is sad that our nation continues to rain hell down on people, often killing innocent civilians. Lord, have mercy!

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