Rand Paul to sue Obama administration over NSA
February 11th, 2014
06:45 PM ET
2 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. AntiSocialist

    WhatsamattaU: So, We the People need a better lawyer, that doesn't mean we don't have a case.

    February 12, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. AntiSocialist

    Whatsamatta – So, We the People need a better lawyer, that doesn't mean we do not have a case.

    February 12, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Joe

    Thanks Rand . It's about time we get control of this out of control Government. So far NSA , DHS and TSA have caught ZERO terrorist and probably never will. All this spying on us is to control the population and has very little to do with terrorist here at least now but wait as soon as 20 million illegals are set free to roam and 50 million Muslims are free to attack within they will have plenty to do.

    February 12, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    @Rudy,
    So it was reported here on CNN. Just like the Real TP had his social experiment with me last week, I thought it would be interesting to hear what liberals thought of this. So there you have it.

    As far as me being a neo-libertarian, ummm, yeah, that's not me whatsoever.
    ----------------------------–
    That definition is not a good one. That site is not too much different from Wikipedia. I agree with you over that one point, the use of pro-active military intervention. That's the neo-cons, not neo-libertarians. By definition, libertarians are isolationists, but everything else in the definiton fits you like a glove.

    February 12, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Sandyone

    What in the world is Rand Paul drinking these days. Tea laced with moonshine booze?. Someone please take away his microphone. Lewinsky an issue in 2016? and he's not kidding. Maybe he needs some rehab..

    February 12, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Bill Keller

    Senator Rand, if he wants to be effective, can place a hold on military appointees to NSA and other DoD intelligence agencies. Avoid the court grandstanding liberarian!

    February 12, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    The other day I told Rudy, The Real TP, Sniffit and a few others that I had heard a story that the administration was considering droning an American suspected of plotting an attack with Al Qaida to kill Americans.
    ------------------------------–
    No such thing was reported, tom. The administration is not plotting with Al Qaeda to kill Americans.

    It was reported that the administration was considering an attack on an American in a foreign country who is believed to be closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

    February 12, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Rand Paul is a complete idiot!

    February 12, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Jackie

    I thought this was the most stupid way Obama and the NSA decide to show theyre protecting us by going thru our stuff and everyone who was with the idea was stupid for thinking it would work. The people should have a say if we pay our bills just like the next one obey all the other senseless rules. Finally weve been heard

    February 12, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. rs

    tom l

    @rs
    The other day I told Rudy, The Real TP, Sniffit and a few others that I had heard a story that the administration was considering droning an American suspected of plotting an attack with Al Qaida to kill Americans. I would be very curious to get your response and how you would feel about this.
    _____________________________
    Not that it has anything to do with this conversation- but hey, I guess we're playing one of your "whay ifs" Gotcha games again....
    It is the equivalent of pulling a gun on a cop- what happens? Yup, no arrest, no trial, just (essentially) a suicide.
    Partake in a terrorist act against the United States? What happens?
    Why does the Right always seem to support the "rights" of those who would attack us, or our government?
    Why do they support the rights of the insane to possess firearms?

    February 12, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. valerie

    This is so not right!!! And everyone that truly loved this country and GOD and their freedom need to help do this and not be afraid to stand up for our rights!

    February 12, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Chris-E...al

    Why wood any0ne even worry with will Rand Paul make a prez. He is much t0 truthful and has t0 much comm0n cents .! .

    February 12, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I would like to sue the IRS for wrongful and unlawfully targeted audits. Who's in?

    February 12, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Michael Walls

    As event after event unfolded during Obama's outrageous regime I kept saying – "where are the grownups? Where are our American leaders?" – but no one did anything to even slow him down. Thank God someone has some guts!

    February 12, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Finally, someone who can and will step up! You've got my vote!

    February 12, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. PaulCat

    Paul is really trying hard.
    Maybe he need to put that much effort into JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

    February 12, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. Joyce James

    I will back Rand Paul 100 %

    February 12, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Ruby

    All for it

    February 12, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Anthony

    How to join class action suit?

    February 12, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. sim bankston

    Now someone should sue over illegal law changes and non enforcement of immigration problems.

    February 12, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Name Donald. Ziegler

    Protect our civil liberties

    February 12, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Sally Macrh

    Ridiculous & Petty !!! Anything for $ in his pocket her does not care about " Women. children nor Vets " Only a Wall-Street !

    February 12, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Sally Macrh

    Ridiculous & Petty !!!

    February 12, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. William

    Well, this is a start.

    February 12, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. betty salmon

    the man is ttrying he will stand up

    February 12, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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