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Case Detail


Al-Aulaqi v. Obama
On December 7, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed an ACLU lawsuit that challenged a reported decision by the federal government to attempt to kill a U.S. citizen (and senior al Qaeda leader) living in Yemen. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging dismissal of the case. The court agreed with WLF that the case raised political questions that were not properly decided by the federal courts. The court noted that no American court has ever issued a decision granting an injunction against the use of military force. The court agreed with WLF that the political question doctrine bars courts from deciding cases, as here, whose resolution the Constitution commits to the President. WLF argued that allowing federal courts to second-guess the operational decisions of military leaders would seriously undercut military effectiveness by making it more difficult for military leaders to act quickly in response to threats from terrorists.
Case Status:
Victory.
More Information and Downloads:
10/4/2010: Download the Brief
Press Release: Court Urged To Dismiss Challenge To Targeted Killing Of U.S. Citizen
Litigation Update: Court Dismisses Challenge To Targeted Killing Of U.S. Citizen