Recently, in Charles Krauthammer’s column on drone warfare, he wrote, “Outside American soil, the Constitution does not rule, no matter how much Paul would like it to.” He was referring to Rand Paul’s filibuster in the senate.
This statement is false. The law is very clear on this matter. In 1957, the Supreme Court decided the case of Reid v. Covert, in which the exact question was conclusively decided: does the Bill of Rights restrict what the U.S government does to U.S. citizens on foreign soil?
The court answered the question as decisively as the English language permits: “At the beginning, we reject the idea that, when the U.S. acts against citizens abroad it can do so free of the Bill of Rights. The United States is entirely a creature of the Constitution. Its power and authority have no other source. It can only act in accordance with all the limitations imposed by the Constitution.
“When the government reaches out to punish a citizen who is abroad, the shield, which is the Bill of Rights and other parts of the Constitution provided to protect his life and liberty, should not be stripped away just because he happens to be in another land.”
In other words, as the Fourth Amendment says, No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Maybe Mr. Krauthammer should try reading the Constitution.
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