Americans in Yemen sue in US Federal Court for the government to come and get them.

I’m going to take an unpopular position here. No. Just no.

Claiming the Obama administration turned its back on them, 41 Americans stranded in war-torn Yemen filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the State Department and Defense Department for not evacuating them — as fighting intensifies and U.S. allies launch airstrikes. 

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks to compel the government to use “all resources” possible to rescue the stranded Americans. The plaintiffs range in age from just a few weeks old to senior citizens. 

First, the Constitution stops at the water’s edge. That is, these Americans (many of whom are likely dual citizens of Yemen) are in Yemen, not the US. They presumably arrived in Yemen of their own free will, and not at the order of the US government. And it isn’t as if the US State Department hasn’t been warning for months for US citizens to leave.

Second, much as your local police force has no legal requirement to protect you, nor does the US government have an obligation to rescue you from poor choices, particularly the poor choice of ever being in Yemen in the first place, let alone staying during a civil war.

Finally, the remedy sought from the court is quite clearly beyond the court’s authority to grant. The President is the sole Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. I looked pretty closely at both Article II and Article III and don’t see where any court has the authority to tell the President where or how to employ the forces of the United States, nor an Article I power to compel the  US to enter a war, which any such non-combatant evacuation might easily lead to.

We don’t think anyone can rightly accuse us of being staunch defenders of the Obama administration foreign policy. But in this case, it appears that the President has decided to keep the US involvment at a minimum, and allow the Saudis and their coalition partners to bear the brunt of the burden. In this case, that appears to be the proper course of action.  Nor is the President likely to be in a hurry to see US troops on the ground in Yemen to effect an evacuation. Nor am I. It’s not as though the collapse of Yemen was some wholly unforeseeable black swan event. These people had plenty of time to contact the US embassy before it was evacuated and make arrangements for repatriation then. We ask you, how many US troops should have their lives placed at risk to remedy the poor choices of those in Yemen?

10 thoughts on “Americans in Yemen sue in US Federal Court for the government to come and get them.”

  1. The courts don’t worry whether or not they have jurisdiction. It’s a matter of what opinions they hold what they want. It’s why we have queer marriage and any number of other violations of the US Constitution floating around in this country which is increasingly being taken over by the lawless and depraved. I wouldn’t bet against them.

  2. The State Department handles all kinds of misery that US citizens get into, but embassy personnel were evacuated on 11 February. If things are so bad that the embassy evacuates, any sane man would have already left the country. The staff continues to provide information on how to get out of Yemen, with daily updates on evacuation options…. http://yemen.usembassy.gov/yemen/citizen_services.html

    As much as Chris Rock might want to believe it, the government is not our mother and father.

  3. Do not go there. Up here we have far too many people who stick around just long enough to get Canadian citizenship then head back to the mother country never to return – until that is the political situation goes south then the maple leaf flags and cries for help from “their country” come put. We even had the Tamils protesting and blocking highways to get the Canadian government to “do something” about Sri Lanka when the Tamil Tigers (inventors of the suicide bomb) were getting their asses handed to them. Citizens of convenience….

    I sometimes shake my head over what my cousins south of the border get up to, but one thing I have always admired about the U.S. – you are Americans first – no double-barrelled citizenship bullshit.

  4. Unless salaried State Dept. employees, or Federal Contractors…good luck.

  5. At least India (yes India) is stepping up and evacuating their ctizens also every one elses from Yemen.

    So much for our Anti-terroism Success in Yemen.

  6. Read the article to find out just who’s stuck over there. Not many specifics. CAIR is involved. There were several mentions of “Yemeni-Americans,” and the only names of people stuck over there -or returned- are all Arabic.

    Sorry. Not feelin’ the love on this one, either.

  7. Reminds me of those folks who wander into well known nasty places like N. Korea or Iran, then get all surprised and pitiful when the folks who hate Americans act like they hate Americans, and expect the US to rescue them. As far as I am concerned that is just evolution in action.

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