Attorneys Challenging U.S. “Targeted Killings” Say Ruling on Al-Aulaqi Killing Memo Is Positive Step

April 21, 2014, New York – In response to the ruling today by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordering the government to release a Justice Department legal memo justifying the “targeted killing” of U.S. citizens, including three citizens killed by U.S. drone strikes in 2011, who are the subject of Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, a damages lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

The government has not only fought judicial review of its killings of U.S. citizens Anwar Al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan and teenager Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, but even basic transparency about its claimed legal authority to kill American citizens and foreign citizens suspected of being enemies. Today’s ruling is an important step forward for public accountability around the government’s killing program. Legal accountability for the devastating consequences of these killings must follow as well.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


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April 21, 2014