drawn Republican fire as being too liberal
The Harvard Law School professor has also drawn Republican fire as being too liberal.
At issue were an unknown number of memos that Barron wrote in 2009 and 2010, while acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, providing the legal rationale for the drone attacks. Attorney General Eric Holder has said such killings are legal abroad if the American targeted poses an imminent threat to the U.S. and cannot be captured.
In 2011, a U.S. drone in Yemen killed American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who administration officials say became an al-Qaida leader. Officials acknowledge three other Americans killed by drones but say they weren't specifically targeted.
Barron's nomination gained steam after the administration revealed Tuesday that it would not battle a federal appeals court order to release a censored version of one of his memos. That will occur only after the administration and the court determine what parts of the memo will be excised, but the decision to unveil it helped ensure support from Wyden, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall and perhaps others.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a possible GOP presidential contender for 2016, initially was demanding the release of all drone documents by Barron. But Wednesday, he said the nomination should be defeated because killing Americans without a fair trial is unconstitutional.
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