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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) clarified a point on the use of drones that he didn’t mention in his 13-hour filibuster: He doesn’t mind if a drone is used to kill American citizens if there’s an “imminent threat.” He told Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto:

“Here’s the distinction: I have never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an act of crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him. But it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”

Conservatives are arguing that this has always been Paul’s position:

The senator has always been open to the idea of drones being used, with a warrant, in the process of a police investigation. And, as a practical matter, if that could have meant, say, a hundred fewer Boston doors knocked on by SWAT teams, isn’t that a net victory for civil liberties? The bit about armed drones, “I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him,” is a tad more strongly worded than prior statements but by no means new.

If this is true, Paul’s entire filibuster was based on the premise that he was against the president using a drone to kill an American citizen on U.S. soil not engaged in combat — a premise that only conspiracy theorists have imagined the president would do.

To Paul’s credit, he also expressed that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing should be tried in civilian court, unlike senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ), who have called for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be designated an enemy combatant.

Outside the Supreme Court in Washington after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing

Photo by ehpien / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Of course we're crying. A woman who held us all up for so, so long has finally laid down her burden after the literal fight of a lifetime. We're hurting. We're afraid. We miss her already.

But Republicans are already celebrating the death of pioneering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an opportunity. Donald Trump is calling on Republicans to act quickly to confirm whatever nominee he puts forward. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is contemplating whether a no-witnesses impeachment can be topped with a no-hearings confirmation. Ted Cruz is thinking about nothing except what he won't be wearing under that black robe. Tom Cotton is speeding through his collection of KKK-approved all-white handkerchiefs mopping up all of the drool. And Josh Hawley is … probably shooting something.

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