The secret document provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war, according to people familiar with the analysis.
Sure, who needs the Constitution, federal laws, international laws, and executive orders... we've got a Secret Memo here! Nicely written, NYTimes. People often bring up the "if Bush did this..." argument. I think it would apply here better than any other place I've seen.