When U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filibustered in March, the old-fashioned way, talking for approximately 13 hours and questioning whether the president had the constitutional authority to use unmanned drones to kill American noncombatants on U.S. soil, he unnerved many politicians and talking heads. It seemed more than a few on the left and in the Republican Party deemed Paul’s reasoning foolish and possibly un-American. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for one, considered Paul’s filibuster a “disservice.” Many on the tube and in the blogosphere wondered why the senator from Kentucky was so concerned; an American, they said, has not been killed on American soil by a drone attack. Paul’s filibuster was about something that was speculative, at best.
Imagine if every American, from 1787 to 1789, had refused to ask hypotheticals. Well, we would not have the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, aka the Bill of Rights. It includes the Sixth Amendment—a recognition that American citizens, accused of criminal activity, have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers.