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. Jane Watkins

    Please add me. I am tired of them knowing more about me than I know about myself. Someone needs to bring them down they are as bad if not worse than the IRS. They think they do not need any rules to follow or to answer to anyone.

    February 12, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. CharlyAngel Crews

    Sign me up!!! Im here in Utah where the NSA has their storage building, I would love to hold a party the day that building comes down....

    February 12, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Kevin Allen

    You may add me as well.

    February 12, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Joni

    I will also add my name to the list. Sue the NSA and impeach,.

    February 12, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Edith Englert

    I'm in. I could never afford this but I am happy you are doing it.

    February 12, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Chris McQueen

    One tuning about suing the government and winning is that they will hand the bill off to the tax payers anyway

    February 12, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. John

    Count me in.

    February 12, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. Patricia Purvis

    How far does this president need to push...well, for me its enough of this bully game by the president and the NSA snooping!!

    February 12, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Maxine Jarrell

    Time to hold them accountable. Please add me to the lawsuit.

    February 12, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. Name ron

    We need to stop these people befor the country we all know and love is gone forever

    February 12, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Rose McIntyre

    Big Thanks for Rand Paul for keeping his stand for our freedom. We need more people in public offices to step up and stand for what is right for our Country. Our freedom is what this country is about. Also watch out for our US currency, lets try and make sure we keep it as the world reserve or we are all going to lose bigtime.

    February 12, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Larry F

    Does having an Obam-phone count?

    February 12, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Don't include me in your lawsuit you grandstanding idiot.

    February 12, 2014 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. dellia smith

    it is about time someone sued those things!

    February 12, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Roosevelt S.

    Why not also name the creators of the patriot act that allowed this in the first place. To not add Bush and his administration is saying it was ok back then but not now. Publicity stunt for his presidential run in 2016.

    February 12, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. Patrick D Albright

    Thank you for your patriotic diligence and strength!
    Please add my name to this lawsuit!

    February 12, 2014 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Monty kemp

    Go get them my friend !!!!!

    February 12, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. Name

    Finally somebody standing up against the tyranny of the far left thank you sir!!!!

    February 12, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Sherry Martin

    Go Rand Paul Go

    February 12, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |

    May God be your strength and guide in this grand effort. We are doomed if we do not turn this dictator out of the position he now holds. Thank you for stepping up to the plate. And I hope you hit a home run.

    February 12, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. charles tarpley

    our 4th amendment has been trashed by this progressive liberal regime"

    February 12, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Heather

    I support this 100%!!!

    February 12, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. shelly lessard

    Yes and then lets sue him personally for my insurance being cancelled.

    February 12, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Alicia Gordon

    Consider yourselves served

    February 12, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. Rhonda

    I support Rand with this issue, I hope he wins.

    February 12, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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