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. MichaelE

    Congress can and should defund the IRS, THE DOJ, The NSA and ICE. Each of these agencies should be put on a probationary period of two years where each month they must prove that they are , in fact, doing what they are mandated to do . They should be required to bring the important cases and issues that they are working on before congressional review and they must prove that they are performing the task they are required to perform.

    February 11, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. 1alien1

    just as bad as his daddy. the apple did not fall far from the tree there. do you suppose there may have been inbreeding there?

    February 11, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. John

    He should be suing Bush, who started the NSA surveillance/capabilities to combat terrorism...Did he even complain when Bush started this NSA program?

    February 11, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. JPX

    Rand Paul is paranoid and mentally ill.

    February 11, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Ben

    Rand, repeal the Patriot Act if you are interested in reversing the trend. That is how this all came about in the first place.

    February 11, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  6. Denverite1

    Really Rand?! The Patriot Act supersedes any grounds you're trying to indict Obama. Besides the fact it was enacted under Bush, so maybe you should sue him...

    February 11, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. Tom

    Where were the Libertarians during the 8 years of Bush/Cheney?


    February 11, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Bill

    "I can do whatever I want" – Obama

    February 11, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. DaPrezadent

    How dare he question Barry!? He can "do whatever he wants". Didn't ya hear?

    February 11, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Gabe

    You can not sure the Federal Government is that not a fact.

    February 11, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. underwaterops

    Good luck with that.

    February 11, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. John AlMighty

    And the Republican party wonders why they keep loosing. What a waste of time. Rand Paul has no chance of being President and to get a loser like Ken Cuccinelli to serve as lead counsel is asuring failure. These guys could not pour water out of a boot if they turned it upside down and found the instructions on the heal.

    February 11, 2014 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  13. Larry B.

    Aqua Buddha must be kidding. He's just trying to draw attention away from the impending implosion of the GOP. Perhaps people would take him seriously if he removed that dead animal from the top of hios head.

    February 11, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. contessa

    Must be terrible to be as unhappy as this guy looks!

    February 11, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  15. Jack

    Just another jerk! He can't get what they want, so sue and clog up the court with trival lawsuits!

    There are so many other things we need to be focusing on!

    February 11, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. Mike

    Next story. Yawn.

    February 11, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  17. TomGI

    "Rand Paul to sue Obama administration over NSA"

    Any ploy to get a speck of publicity. News flash Rand, you'll never win the presidential election.

    February 11, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  18. Name Paladin

    What a waste of money. He needs to sue Bush. He put it in place a fter 9/11.

    February 11, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. victor yao

    Rand Paul is mentally instable. I am glad he is pressing charges against Obama over NSA. I wonder how many other presidents would have to come out of retirement to face Rand Paul's charges.

    February 11, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  20. Scott

    Good, it's about time someone does. At this point, no one has been held accountable, no one at all.

    February 11, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. Solitairedog

    This guy is doing everything he can to stay in the headlines.

    February 11, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. Chris-E...al

    Cnn u could change yours an mine futures. ur makeing really g0od hard s0und smart .never mind. bless y0ur heart.

    February 11, 2014 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. Calcommuter

    In another attempt at attention, Rand "It is not a Toupee" Paul is suing our President because everything is not just the way he wants it. He must have gotten the idea from a paper he plagiarized..

    February 11, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. badtobone

    Agree .people should read the law on warranties evidence.

    February 11, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. Rina

    Good luck with that Rand.

    February 11, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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