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. Dayan

    I would like to be part of the action law suit for the Obama Administration. Please Raun Paul add me too...

    February 12, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. David Marsters

    How do we join the class action suit?

    February 12, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Robert Thompson

    add me to that list,please.

    February 12, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Deb

    Rand, count me in too!

    February 12, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Name Chris huebner

    It is about time someone is speaking up for the citizens of this country. This is what it must of felt like before 1776.

    February 12, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Jan Carnes

    sign me up Rand Paul ! I'm with you all the way and beyond . This power hungry individual needs to go .

    February 12, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Kathy Barber

    Senator Rand Paul,
    I feel it is not only my duty, but my honor, to join you in this law suit against the Obama administration....count me in.

    February 12, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Mark & Herlinda Wirth

    We believe in you Ran Paul, we want our freedom back. Thank You GOD BLESS.

    February 12, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Ed

    I am in Mr. Paul. You are making your father proud. Sue the pants off the NSA and Obama also. Rand now and Rand in 2016

    February 12, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Brad Clayman

    You go Rand, you are doing the right thing! Also. You will have my vote when ever you decide to run for the White House.

    February 12, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. lynn

    Thanks Paul and Kibbe – add me to your suit – it's about time someone stood up for our Constitutional rights – so lets get rid of obama while we are at it – he is unconstitutional as anything.

    February 12, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Mark & Herlinda Wirth

    Thank you Rand Paul, we want our freedom back.

    February 12, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. jon

    please add me to your list rand. and if i', not there already to randpac

    February 12, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. Patricia Bernat

    Add me and I'll help in any way I can!!!

    February 12, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. shannon paplow

    how do we go about being a part of the lawsuit?

    February 12, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. dennis paplow

    sign me up please! thanks for all you do!

    February 12, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Name Tiffany Meek

    NSA has hijacked our lives.

    February 12, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Mary lou Barnwell

    Baraco Obama needs to be impeached. Rand Paul finally stood up to do just that. I have always liked Rand, he is an honest man, that loves America. He will fight for our Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I want to sign the petition. I have been hoping some one would have the courage to do this, and Rand Paul is the man.

    February 12, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. sean smith

    although I do think that the gov has gone way to far obama is not the one that put this into place no he didnt stop it which is on him but the president before him but all this into place so you are suing the wrong man

    February 12, 2014 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. Wallace Rowe

    Please add Me, if they are monitoring me they need to pay my bill!

    February 12, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Mary lou Barnwell

    I have wanted Barack Obama out of the Whitehouse, after his first term. I did not vote a second term for him, after I saw what he was about. He lied to us all. We should have gotten in writing all the "changes" he wanted to make to the greatest country in the WORLD. Foolish I was not to have vetted him. Be careful who you vote for, make sure you understand his intentions, this man has been a shocking result of an election. His vacations alone have cost us Millions, who is this grandiose nobody, but a neighborhood organizer. He is a traitor to this country, he means to bring us down, to the level of the rest of the world. America needed no "changes"., no his any way.

    February 12, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Teri Evans

    Count me in.

    February 12, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. Beth

    This is just controlled opp games. If you were really serious you would indict him for high crimes and misdemeanors! He needs to be arrested and thrown in jail!! He needs to be tried for treason. Stop playing games to fool the American people into thinking there;s still hope, so you can get re-elected. Play for keeps, stop pulling punches!

    February 12, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Derrick Truett

    Any cost with joining?

    February 12, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Name Blaine cada

    While Rand I have jump in with you when you spoke of this. We as Americans , lost just about everything we have. I dont know how people in DC can go to work each day, with. Tranny president like BHO. Guess there a lot like him. Seeing some of Repub are joining the Dem's and there eviel minds.

    February 12, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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