From The Guardian:

The case began in 2015 when the families of Salem bin Ali Jaber, an imam, and Waleed bin Ali Jaber, a police officer, filed a “wrongful death” suit against the US government, Barack Obama and other US officials.

They claimed the deaths were collateral damage in an August, 2012, Hellfire missile attack by a US drone in the eastern Yemeni village of Khashamir targeting three extremists, court papers said.

The families sought a court declaration that the strike violated international and US law. The lawsuit did not seek monetary relief.

The US court of appeals for the District of Columbia in a unanimous ruling upheld a lower court’s finding that they cannot second guess the government’s military judgement. According to the ruling, the executive, not judicial, makes the military decisions.

The circuit judge Janice Rogers Brown, who wrote the decision, also issued a rare separate opinion calling for greater oversight over the drone program.

She also questioned in her opinion who will question military decisions if judges can’t, since congressional oversight is “a joke – and a bad one at that”. There is no court supervision over new military technology, such as the drones used in this case.

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