No American prosecutor can imprison or execute someone except on the orders of a judge or jury. That fundamental principle applies no less to the suspected terrorists that the executive branch chooses to kill overseas, particularly in the case of American citizens.
A growing number of lawmakers and experts are beginning to recognize that some form of judicial review is necessary for these killings, usually by missiles fired from unmanned drones.
The proposed drone court would raise as many constitutional and legal questions as it resolved. And it would give a congressional and judicial stamp of approval to a program whose effectiveness, morality, and constitutionality are open to serious questions. Rather than rushing to create a drone court, Congress would do better to hold hearings about whether targeted drone killings are, in fact, morally, constitutionally, and pragmatically defensible in the first place.