Last month, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal made the case for creating an executive branch court to oversee the use of drones for targeted killings. In Katyal’s view, subjecting drone strikes to an Article III “drone court” would be a “mistake.” Thus he endorsed an alternative oversight mechanism to be housed within the executive branch.
My friend and former colleague, Amos Guiora, takes a different view. Perhaps due to his experience with the Israeli military, and judicial oversight of some Israeli military actions, he thinks Article III drone courts would be just fine. He makes the case in his paper, “Targeted Killing: When Proportionality Gets All Out of Proportion.” In Amos’ view, the use of drones for targeted killing mut be constrained by clear criteria and subject to true judicial oversight — oversight that would make sure drone strikes are only used in a proportionate manner and would also minimize operational error.