Rand Paul to sue Obama administration over NSA
February 11th, 2014
06:45 PM ET
4 years 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. debbie orgeron

    Were do I sign, I am no ones subject !!!

    February 12, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Shawn Berger

    All I can say is united we stand

    February 12, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. American Patroit

    just get him out of the white house before its to late

    February 12, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Beverly Knode

    Thank you Mr.Paul!!!♥♥

    February 12, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. NameMitch

    Rand I wish I could be there to help you take down our worst president in history

    February 12, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. kulardenu

    Better yet lets just repeal the Patriot Act that started this whole mess!

    February 12, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Name

    What is this post to join the class action or just a bunch of advertisers mr. Paul fight for we the people and why are you allowing all these advertisements a class action suit

    February 12, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Rita

    Sign me up. Thanks for fighting the fight

    February 12, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Messer

    This didn't start with Obama. It's not going to end with Obama.
    There needs to be more names added to the lawsuit.
    Regardless, sign me up.

    February 12, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. alicia varela

    I agree with you 1000%

    February 12, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Jason Osborne

    Is like to be added to that list of plaintiffs

    February 12, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. alicia varela

    I agree with you 100%

    February 12, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. tom l

    The administration is NOT conspiring with Al Qaeda. This is how right wing lies and distorted facts get out. Remember what I told you last week about how people see what they want to see, instead of what is actually in front of them?
    Once again, you are making yourself look silly. When did I ever say that the administration was conspiring with Al Qaida? And I must have just imagined Erin Burnett talking about it last night on her show, right? I must have imagined her questioning this and saying "if you're ok with this, then you would be ok with this happening on American soil, too" comment.

    Remember how you told me last week that people often see what they want to see rather than what is right out in front of them? I hope you were in front of a mirror when you said that. Hahahahaahahahahahaha

    You just totally proved that YOU are the one, with your inane comment that I said that the administration was conspiring with Al Qaida when I said the exact opposite, that has that "lens" on. Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

    February 12, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Laurie green

    It's about time someone stood up to him!! Now the Rest of the Senate needs to grow some Backbone like MR. RAND PAUL!!

    February 12, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. NameTonda Young

    Sign me up .

    February 12, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Ginger McKnight

    Please add my name to your lawsuit....there need to be several people who should be added to the list to sue. We deserve as citizens to have our rights protected....I mean every right protected. Thank you for actually doing something to help when none of the other people we pay will do what we want.

    February 12, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Linda Pritchett

    Let's take the bull by the horns.

    February 12, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Phyllis green

    Count me in.

    February 12, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Patsy Smolka

    Thank god someone is standing up for the American people. I hope others from congress and senate get behind you. Thank you Rand Paul

    February 12, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Fed Up

    Lets Start a sign up against this....

    February 12, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Cheryl

    Where do I sign??

    February 12, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Name. Bob Horneman

    Where is the link ??? I'll sign im a veteran and their gonna tap my phone!!! What happened to due process of law it seems since obamba has been in office the laws they pass dont have to be followed by them and no person is above the law so if we are forced to take obamba care so should the rest !!!! Yea sign me up for the lawsuit! !!

    February 12, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. tawanda ballinger

    Smh my phone company sent over a 1,000 voice mail to my daughter phone I mean all my so call delete voice mail to her phone well I thought I deleted it from 2010 until 2014 smh yup crazy I'm so upset

    February 12, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. Michael Perry

    God bless Sen. Rand Paul. Too bad we don't have a lot more pols like him. I stand with Rand. How do I sign up?

    February 12, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Art Salvo

    Tea Party time !

    February 12, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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