Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia over the weekend the corporate media began speculating on his replacement.
David Barron is on the short list.
He is a 48-year old First Circuit judge and a Harvard law professor who headed up the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during Obama’s first term.
“In that capacity, he wrote at least one memo offering the legal rationale for using drone strikes to kill American citizens overseas who were suspected of terrorism,” Alan Greenblatt wrote in 2014.
The Barron memo reeks of unconstitutionality.
In June, 2014, The New York Times reported on the memo, which was completed in June, 2010 and publicly released in 2014 by a federal appeals court.
David Barron, then the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, concluded that it would be lawful for the government to kill Mr. Awlaki, notwithstanding federal statutes against murdering Americans overseas and protections in the Constitution against unreasonable seizures and depriving someone of life without due process of law.
The Fifth Amendment states: “No person [American citizen] shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, were deprived of life without due process of law when they were killed by drone strikes in September and October of 2011 in Yemen. Anwar was born in New Mexico and Abdulrahman in Colorado.
The Obama administration argued a national security rationale overruled the Constitution and that is why the al-Awlakis and a third individual, Samir Khan, were not adjudicated.
“It seems there’s no remedy if the government intended to kill you, and no remedy if it didn’t. This decision is a true travesty of justice for our constitutional democracy, and for all victims of the U.S. government’s unlawful killings,” said Maria LaHood, the lead attorney in a complaint filed the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of the al-Awlaki and Khan families.
Despite this egregious breach of the Constitution, Barron was confirmed by the Senate to sit on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Barron’s dismissal of the Fifth Amendment and his legal justification for an assassination program conducted covertly by the CIA outside the rule of law should invalidate him from sitting on the Supreme Court, to say nothing of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Supreme Court, however, is routinely used to validate action by the state against individuals and property. It stands to protect and justify the establishment.
“The Supreme Court?” Fred Reed summarizes. “The Nine Cadavers could have found torture unconstitutional, or affirmative action, or undeclared wars. Nothing. They serve only to certify the status quo. What do they do all day? Sleep in their coffins, I suppose, and come out at night to flap around the Capitol.”