A proposal to give federal judges a direct role in the nation’s drone campaign gained new momentum this week with a signal from senior lawmakers that they intend to consider creating a special court to oversee the selection of targets for lethal strikes.
But the idea — cited by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), among others, as a way to impose new accountability on the drone program — faces significant legal and logistical hurdles, according to U.S. officials and legal experts.
Among main obstacles to lawmakers’ proposal is executive opposition to dilution of president’s authority.
Among the main obstacles is almost-certain opposition from the executive branch to a dilution of the president’s authority to protect the country against looming threats. Others include the difficulty of putting judges in a position to approve the killing of individuals — possibly including American citizens — even if they have not been convicted of a crime.
Keep the federal courts away from warfighting. If more oversight is needed (and I’m certainly open to that argument, but not fully convinced yet), then have it come from the Congress. Both the Executive and Congress have specified roles in the war. Nowhere do the courts.