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. Bryan A. Sprouse

    Count me in

    February 12, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Sherry

    I refuse to give up my freedoms and liberties that MY fathers, brothers, uncles, mothers, sisters and aunts have all fought for me to retain. Selling yourself to the government in lose of freedoms and privacy in the name of "terrorism" is exactly WHAT they terrorists want. It's even worse when it is starting to feel as though the real terrorists sit up on our capital hill wearing suits, eating off the finest china and taking trip after trip after trip, while our real heroes have to wake up every morning wondering if today is their last day on earth because SOMEONE spent the allowance for whatever supplies they need to keep us all safe from terrorism!
    Thank you Rand Paul. You have my full support.

    February 12, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. carolyn sue cox

    I want to be a part of your campaign to shake up the Government in Washington.

    February 12, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Mike Osgood

    Count me in

    February 12, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Edgar Martinez

    Add me to that list and let the NSA know that contrary to their bosses' brain-washing, they are not the good guys.... they are being treasonous and using the old "Create, React and Solve" paradigm that they themselves create. Specifically turning a blind-eye to T e rror, or sometimes false-flagging it!.....The NSA Sp ooks on this blog know what I'm talking about...

    February 12, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. Maurice Londono

    He needs to be impeach, bottom line.

    February 12, 2014 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Missti

    Its about time America got at least one person who is willing to stand up for the people of the United States of America, and their congressional oath of office. Congressman, Sir, pleas add my and my husband David to your list in the law suit if for no other reason than for my fellow Americans and that it is the legal and right thing to do when our government chooses to ignore the very laws it wrote and becomes the criminal instead of the legal hand of justice.

    February 12, 2014 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Jan Brent

    It's about time somebody stood up for our rights. Obama's administration has blatantly violated our constiution repeatedly. It's time to STOP the radicals and get the White House back!

    February 12, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. Cheri Amos

    Count me in this class action.

    February 12, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. Brady cottrill

    Sign me up. I am all for it

    February 12, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. Christina Teems

    Please add my name to the lawsuit as well. Enough is enough, Obama needs to be thrown out of office, he is by far the worst President I've ever seen.

    February 12, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. John A. Nichols

    Stand up for us now ACLU. WE NEED THIS TO STOP!!!

    February 12, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. Shelly Currier

    Sue the crap out of him Rand!!!! Could you please start the impeachment and arrest for treason too please!!!!! I am not some that uses the word hate I don't like hate but I can not help it I HATE OBAMA !!!!! What he has done to our country and Egypt too by helping the Muslim Brotherhood he is not happy to destroy just America he has to destroy other countries too!!! The man is the spawn of satan and its ok to hate satan and his son!!!!

    February 12, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Daniel

    You can add me to the law suit as well. If we don't take a stand for our freedoms we will no longer have any. Who does this trash can of a president think he is. Ever sense he came into office he tried to turn this country upside down. I can keep going but I'm going to stop here

    February 12, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. Cathy McKeen

    Please add me to the lawsuit. I don't see a link to add myself. Thank you Rand Paul, you are the next president of the United States.

    February 12, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. Stephanie Zuniga

    Count me in.

    February 12, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. Richard A. Haines

    This administration, the house and senate are the most dishonest and corrupt in our nations history. This president chooses which laws to enforce, then with pen and phone, changes our constitution and the laws of the land through executive orders, bypassing congress. The land of the free, home of the brave is on a rapid downhill spiral.
    King Obama, the house and senate are lining their pockets with tax dollars, payoffs from lobbyist and political contributions in exchange for socialism in America the beautiful. A call for immigration reform instead of securing our borders and enforcing immigration laws already written. More americans are unemployed than full time employed workers. More americans are living in poverty and on food stamps than anytime in our nations history.

    Then ObamaCare passed, millions of americans are losing their jobs and health insurance due to this train wreck.

    FUEL PRICES HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION. Billions of dollars are being spent on the global warming fiasco. We are not allowed to drill new oil wells on government land because of global warming. We have $10 Billion dollars to help Brazil drill for oil, of course George Soros owns controlling interest in that oil company. We are at the mercy of OPEC and the middle east, feel secure now?

    Fellow Americans, we are in a clear & present danger. With a stroke of a pen martial law could be imposed on a once free society. Please pray that history does not repeat itself. ONE NATION UNDER GOD!

    February 12, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. Philip Devlin

    Count me in on this suit. Where do I sign up and how can I help!!'

    February 12, 2014 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Boyd

    You go Rand. Let us know if we need bodies in DC!

    February 12, 2014 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  20. Night Owl

    Yes yes, add me too.

    February 12, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. Trent

    I would like to be part of this class action suit also. Count me in.

    February 12, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. dave brunson

    Add me to the list. And if you want to Impeach add me to the list too.

    February 12, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. Kraig Johnston

    How do we donate to your legal offense team?

    February 12, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Annie

    Count me in!! I am glad someone is going to start a movement to stop this present government from taking ours rights away!!
    Soon they will be coming in our homes and doing whatever they want without warrants. It reminds me of Hitler and it didn't take him very long to take over.

    February 12, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  25. Galina Andreyev

    Please add me to your lawsuit. May God be with you. Thank you!

    February 12, 2014 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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