Lawsuit over American drone strikes dismissed by U.S. judge

WASHINGTON Fri Apr 4, 2014 6:54pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by the families of three American citizens killed in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen in 2011 but said their case raised serious constitutional issues.

The families of the three, including New Mexico-born militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, sued over their deaths, arguing that the killings were illegal.

Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court in Washington threw out the case.

"The question presented is whether federal officials can be held personally liable for their roles in drone strikes abroad that target and kill U.S. citizens," Collyer said in her opinion. "The question raises fundamental issues regarding constitutional principles, and it is not easy to answer."

But the judge said she would grant the government's motion to dismiss the case.

Collyer said that the U.S. officials named as defendants in the case "must be trusted and expected to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution when they intentionally target a U.S. citizen abroad at the direction of the president and with the concurrence of Congress. They cannot be held personally responsible in monetary damages for conducting war."

Lawyers for the families had argued that in killing American citizens, the U.S. government had violated fundamental rights under the Constitution to due process and to be free from unreasonable seizure.

(Reporting by Will Dunham and Dena Aubin; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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Comments (3)
Tomasgolfer wrote:
This judge should be disbarred and thrown off the bench. We either have a constitution or we don’t. If the Executive can kill an American citizen then the constitution is null and void. “The question raises fundamental issues regarding constitutional principles, and it is not easy to answer.” then dismisses the case. Why bother having courts if a judge refuses to uphold the constitution? What’s next? The government spying on all Americans? This country has become what as a child I was told to fear about the Soviet Union. Perhaps they’ll do another “false flag” operation/attack when the people of this country have finally had enough and revolt.

Apr 04, 2014 7:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
powertogod wrote:
When cowards can kill men women and children with drones then you will know the Land of the Free is now the Land of the Caged. USA now has the largest prison population in all of human history and over 200,000 Americans are raped in prisons every single year. Evil is real and our government has become evil… a When I was a child God spoke to me and said He introduced evil into His universe from a Sister Universe and it spread like cancer. In order to survive He created Holiness and Heaven and separated Himself from His own creation. I wrote a letter at warningfromgod and in 1997 our government asked me to sign a secrecy agreement with a writ of order attached for my immediate execution if I violated the terms. Please read warningfromgod and treat people as Jesus taught us. Thank you. We must protect our planet. Try sending a drone for me cowards. In your next life you will be laying eggs.

Apr 04, 2014 7:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NetG wrote:
Look it here…our president gets to murder U.S. citizens with drones and his judges throw the case out and nothing is done about it. I’m not surprised or shocked…saw this coming a LOOONG time ago as did many other U.S. citizens.

And ptg…if they send a drone you’ll be dead and never even know it was coming.

Apr 05, 2014 4:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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