U.S. Supreme Court

Retired Justice Stevens Reportedly Sees No Legal Problem with Bin Laden Killing


Retired Justice John Paul Stevens continued his outspoken ways on Thursday evening when he reportedly said the laws of war permitted the United States to kill Osama bin Laden.

“It was not merely to do justice and avenge Sept. 11,” but also “to remove an enemy who had been trying every day to attack the United States,” Stevens reportedly said. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has the story, based on an account of Stevens’ remarks by his former law clerk Diane Amann, now a University of Georgia law professor.

Stevens said the laws of war permit the U.S. military to kill an enemy commander who is engaged in active hostilities against the United States, Amann told the blog. He spoke at a dinner in Chicago following a symposium on his jurisprudence by Northwestern University.

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