Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) began a rare talking filibuster in opposition to the nomination of John Brennan to head up the CIA. Beginning just before noon Wednesday, Paul has now reached the three hour mark as of this writing.
Paul first suggested a filibuster in late February, according to the Washington Post, when he sent the administration a letter asking whether it would ever use a drone strike to kill Americans on U.S. soil.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said. “I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”
Attorney General Eric H. Holder responded to Paul’s letter by saying the administration has “no intention” of carrying out drone strikes in the United States, the Washington Post notes, but could use them under “an extraordinary circumstance.”
Paul called Holder’s refusal to rule out drone strikes within the United States “more than frightening.”
Highlighting these concerns, Paul said Wednesday:
“When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding, an unequivocal, ‘No.’ The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that.”
“I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution,” Paul added. Quoting the Fifth Amendment, the Kentucky senator said, “No person will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process.”
Paul’s filibuster can be watched live on CSPAN2.
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