Targeted Killing

No Appeal in Al-Aulaqi

By Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 1:55 PM

The deadline for a notice of appeal of Judge Bates' ruling in Al Aulaqi came and went a few weeks back with no filing from the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights. In response to my queries, the groups today released the following statement:

After consultation with our client, the decision has been made not to further pursue this case in court.

CCR and the ACLU continue to be deeply troubled by the government's claim of unreviewable authority to carry out the targeted killing of any American, anywhere, whom the president deems to be a threat to the nation. The executive's claimed right to act as prosecutor, judge and executioner dangerously undermines the rule of law and the protection of human rights here and abroad. We continue to believe that the judiciary has a crucial role to play both in setting the standards under which the government uses lethal force against its own citizens, and in ensuring that those standards are complied with.

We will continue to press the administration to be transparent about its policy of targeted killing outside of war zones, and to constrain its actions according to the Constitution and international law.