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. Mary Watson

    It's all about our right to privacy. Remember the 60's warning "Big Brother is Watching?" Let us not forget.

    February 12, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. purplewings123

    Thank you Rand. Please add me to your lawsuit.

    February 12, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Ralph Ormsbee

    This has gone way to far with way to little being done on this thing referred as a president that has already been proven not to have been elected in the state of ohio which was all fraud and other states I have no idea way he has not been removed from office already. Has all of the law makers gone brain dead completely. This is one sick state for this country. He has committed treason every day in office against the united states and he is still in office. Bin laden is not dead that has not been proven and now look to get rid of the records, The persons of military that knows better are dead, the person with the birth certificate is dead, the military has been dismanteled, He has attacked the veterans and made fun of them and has set up for our hero's to be dishonored at the buriel what the hell is wrong with you people

    February 12, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. NameStephan Lars Korsvall

    I want to be part of class action suite

    February 12, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. purplewings123

    Thank you, Rand. Count me in. Loral Orow, Plymouth, MI 48170

    February 12, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Pat Tresco

    Finally someone has stepped forward to help the Americna public. Thank you Mr. Rand for doing this. Wondered for a long time if those in D.C. were hearing the people. Apparently, you are the only one. Go for it and may God speed.

    February 12, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Sherry Martin

    Go Rand Paul Go before our country is list forever.

    February 12, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Name Keith Ewing

    I would like to be on your list to sue the president, if that is what you want to call him.

    February 12, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Ronnie Souder

    U can add me to the law suit.

    February 12, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Pat Farley

    This certainly is a start to getting back the way it is meant to be. Thank you Rand Paul for having the courage and conviction to stand up to barrack's constant interfering with our rights. I pray the Loving Strength of God encircle you and your family.

    February 12, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Randy Bigari

    I'm in

    February 12, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Mary Louise Lula

    I hope this is just the beginning of the lawsuits for illegal actions taken by Obama and his administration.

    February 12, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Robert Wuehrmann

    Please add me

    February 12, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Denise & Brad Bigger

    Add both of us to the list. Would like to see you IMPEACH obama. You should do this quickly.

    February 12, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. pickybiker

    How can people sign on to this?

    February 12, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Namebugs

    Do it to them

    February 12, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Beverly Elmore

    Before Rand Paul files a lawsuit against Obama and his administration he needs to experience what it's like to get up every day of your life and not know whether or not you're going to be alive at the end of the day. I'm not saying it's wrong to file a lawsuit for the spying but only after you've had the experience like soldiers, battered women, abused children. It's not like video games or action movies or a reality show. After he's had the experience for awhile and still wants to file the lawsuit then he's got every right to proceed. We are so fortunate in this country for those who work so hard to keep us safe. We don't have tanks controlling the streets or military walking the streets with AK 47's and grenades at their sides. Because that's what will happen once the terrorists start attacking us.

    February 12, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. marcia c

    Please add me to your lawsuit.

    February 12, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Jerry G. Dunn

    I think his timing is great! The democrats, while wanting to pick a fight the Media would win for them: The Debt Ceiling argument., never occurred, thankfully. Again, Obama is trying to pick a fight, any fight, so as to distract from the heinous Executive Order threats, he mistakenly made. The IRS, The NSA, lying to the American people; "You can keep your...(whatever.)" I appreciate some common sense tactics used to keep a "Liar," front and center, on the 'hot' seat. PS: The interview with O'Reilly, caught Obama in another lie: "Smidgen!" This suit must continue...

    February 12, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Figures

    I feel really dirty for saying that I support anything Rand Paul does, but I support this.

    February 12, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Mark Levengood

    I'd like to be added to the list as well. We all have a right to privacy and if we don't push back, we'll lose that right and never get it back.

    February 12, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. m.tompos

    I'm in too...

    February 12, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. cheryl

    I love Rand Paul for doing this! But I am just as upset about the corrupt IRS AND Department of INJUSTICE . Sue them ALL! And Impeach The Liar In Chief!!!

    February 12, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. marcella DUla

    It is past time to get our freedom back

    February 12, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Name Jonathan

    I am with you all the way just hope they don't put me and my family in Obama detention camps because of this lol

    February 12, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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