ABSTRACT

Attorney General Eric Holder Speech at Northwestern University School of Law [Targeted Killing of U.S. Citizens]   [open pdf - 55KB]

From the speech of Attorney General Holder regarding the targeted killing of U.S. citizens who are in the service of terrorist organizations: "Now, it is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that some of the threats we face come from a small number of United States citizens who have decided to commit violent attacks against their own country from abroad. Based on generations-old legal principles and Supreme Court decisions handed down during World War II, as well as during this current conflict, it's clear that United States citizenship alone does not make such individuals immune from being targeted. But it does mean that the government must take into account all relevant constitutional considerations with respect to United States citizens -- even those who are leading efforts to kill innocent Americans. Of these, the most relevant is the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, which says that the government may not deprive a citizen of his or her life without due process of law. The Supreme Court has made clear that the Due Process Clause does not impose one-size-fits-all requirements, but instead mandates procedural safeguards that depend on specific circumstances. In cases arising under the Due Process Clause -- including in a case involving a U.S. citizen captured in the conflict against al Qaeda -- the Court has applied a balancing approach, weighing the private interest that will be affected against the interest the government is trying to protect, and the burdens the government would face in providing additional process. Where national security operations are at stake, due process takes into account the realities of combat."

Publisher:
Date:
2012-03-05
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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