Gavel Grab

Former Pentagon Counsel Skeptical on Targeted Killing Court

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s former top lawyer, expressed skepticism about ideas floated for a kind of national security court that would review government targeted killings of U.S. citizen terror suspects overseas.

He said one of the numerous difficult questions about such a court would be whether its scope extended just to Americans or also to other suspected terrorists, according to a New York Times article. Another question would involve the inevitable accusations that the court served as a “rubber stamp” for targeted killings.

In his speech at Fordham Law School, Johnson also raised questions about judges being used as “top cover” for “death warrants” when the executive branch alone provides secret evidence to them, and especially in situations where fast-changing criteria — such as the assessment of an imminent threat — are involved.

The New York Law Journal also provided coverage of Johnson’s address.

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