Rand Paul to sue Obama administration over NSA
February 11th, 2014
06:45 PM ET
10 months ago

Rand Paul to sue Obama administration over NSA

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul will sue President Barack Obama and top officials in the National Security Agency over surveillance.

Paul's political action committee, RandPAC, announced plans by the Kentucky senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate to file a class-action challenge on Wednesday.

The suit also will name National Intelligence Director James Clapper, outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander, and FBI Director James Comey.

A firebrand in the Republican Party whose brand of conservatism embraces Libertarian ideals, Paul is an ardent critic of U.S. surveillance programs, which he says infringe on basic civil liberties under the Constitution.

"The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants. I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win," Paul said in a statement.

Ken Cuccinelli, a former Republican attorney general in Virginia who lost the state’s gubernatorial election last fall, will serve as lead counsel.

Matt Kibbe, president of the tea party-aligned group FreedomWorks, also joined the lawsuit, saying any American with a phone should be invested in his case.

"This class action suit isn't about Republican versus Democrat, or progressive versus conservative. This is about defending the basic civil liberties of every American from a government that has crossed the line," he said. "Never in American history has there been such a warrantless gathering of citizens information. We believe it is time to put this before the courts."

National security leaks about bulk NSA collection of telephone and e-mail data exposed by former agency contractor Edward Snowden last year outraged libertarians, privacy advocates and many members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

They considered it government overreach in the fight against terrorism.

Obama has defended the programs, but announced modest reforms to NSA's practices.

In a speech at the Justice Department last month, Obama revealed new guidance for intelligence-gathering as well as changes intended to balance what he called the nation's vital security needs with concerns over privacy and civil liberties.

Paul joins a number of anti-NSA activists who are unsatisfied with the proposed changes.

CNN's Alison Harding contributed to this report.


Filed under: Edward Snowden • James Clapper • James Comey • Ken Cuccinelli • NSA • President Obama • Rand Paul
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. kiver4christ

    You Can Count Me In Thank You For What Your Doing Rand Paul

    February 12, 2014 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. John Wallace

    Rand Paul is one of the few in Washington that has balls to fight the commie democrats in office. Thank god for the T-Party

    February 12, 2014 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. george

    Count me in, for sure.

    February 12, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. Ronald Eib

    Please add me....Don't let them breath,,,be relentless in this lawsuit !!

    February 12, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    They just one thing I hate worse than a lier & that is some one who stills. Add me to the list.

    February 12, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. justin

    About time and we need to sue the IT'S and many others and also get rid of most of these corrupt politicians...add me to the list

    February 12, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  7. Buddy Harrelson

    Add Me to your list.

    February 12, 2014 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. Gwen Quickel

    Adding my name. Rand Paul is very courageous in doing this. Thank you Rand Paul.

    February 12, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. alaskan1st

    Wasn't the rightwing all for spying when the patriot act got started? Did they forget 9/11? Terrorists and all that? Wasn't that why it was justified? Wasn't that why they called everyone against it un-patriotic, traitors?

    February 12, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Zack Gill

    How can we sign the class action lawsuit?

    February 12, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  11. kathy traylor

    please add me to the lawsuit.

    February 12, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. john lucius

    I'm with you Mr.Paul, take this country back and take out the trash!

    February 12, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. Justin

    Why is it that everyone has a problem with the NSA, but they don't seem to have a problem with Google? Google violates your privacy by scanning your calendar, posts, files, email, etc., and by tracking your browsing history. Plus they keep track of all of your search results and build profiles about you. This is just as extensive (if not more) than what the NSA does. Everyone who cares about privacy should check out some of the new privacy-based services that have started to pop up: Ravetree, HushMail, DuckDuckGo, etc.

    February 12, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Norma Perez

    We are tired of out rights being set aside because of a poor excuse of a President,and his followers, are power hungry and are trying to make us a Socialist country. They violate our Constitutional rights on a daily basis. We the people are not going to take it anymore.

    February 12, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Name Evelyn

    I would like to be a part of this lawsuit as well. I'm appalled by the state of affairs that we are all in. These people are suppose to work for us and represent us, not rule over us and take away our rights. We are on a slippery slope downward. We need to take back our rights and become sovereign again. I also agree with Cheryl, the IRS needs to be abolished (they are illegal in the first place)... All of our systems are broken...

    February 12, 2014 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Bruce Day

    When we seek for unconstitutional encroachment on our civil rights, then I would vote for Obama and his cabinet of freedom stealing thugs.
    OUR CONSTITUTION PROVIDES US WITH FREEDOM NOT ENSLAVEMENT.

    February 12, 2014 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. Renee

    Well,........IT'S ABOUT TIME one of you guys/women stood up for us and The Constitution!!!!!!! God Bless you Rand Paul and may GOD protect your entire family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2014 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  18. kwwilly

    I love the lawsuit and Rand Paul for bringing it, but geez, we give up all of our rights to privacy, especially with cell phones every time we download a single app. So the NSA does it maybe or maybe not and we are up in arms. Your life is plastered in servers and clouds all over the world. You lost every bit of privacy when you pressed the first accept button.

    February 12, 2014 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. woodymike57

    No one is above the law- not even the President, who acts as a dictator. But what it takes is the right people to stand up to such a government, and to put them in their place-off the throne! That's what United States Freedom is all about!!

    February 12, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
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