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Court Dismisses Suit Challenging U.S. Assassinations

HeadlineDec 08, 2010

A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s authorization of the assassination of U.S. citizens accused of terrorism links abroad. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union had filed the case on behalf of the father of Yemen-based Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is said to be the first U.S. citizen added to a CIA list of targets for capture or killing. On Tuesday, Federal Judge John Bates tossed the case on jurisdictional grounds, ruling that Awlaki’s father did not have legal standing to bring a case concerning his son. But Bates said the case raises serious judicial questions, including: “How is it that judicial approval is required when the U.S. decides to target a U.S. citizen overseas for electronic surveillance, but [not] when the United States decides to target a U.S. citizen overseas for death?” In a statement, the ACLU said, “We continue to believe that the government’s power to use lethal force against American citizens should be subject to meaningful oversight by the courts.”

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