U.S. District Court Holds U.S. Citizen Can Challenge His Inclusion on 'Kill List' [July 10, 2018]   [open pdf - 381KB]

"In a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the court held that a U.S. citizen who could allege sufficient facts to credibly demonstrate he is being targeted by the U.S. military in Syria can challenge the alleged governmental decision to place him on the 'Kill List' as a suspected terrorist. The Kill List is the colloquial name for the list of individuals deemed to be properly subject to targeted killing or capture under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Congress passed in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The interagency process for placing individuals on the list was set forth by President Obama in a Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) in 2013. In Zaidan v. Trump, plaintiffs Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan and Bilal Abdul Kareem, both journalists covering terrorism and hostilities in the Middle East, believe that they are included on the Kill List and brought suit against various government agencies in an effort to challenge this designation. In order for their claims to survive the government's motion to dismiss, plaintiffs had to demonstrate that they have standing to bring suit and that Congress has waived the government's sovereign immunity for this type of claim. They also had to contend with the United States' assertion that the claims are inappropriate for judicial review under the political question doctrine."

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CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10167
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