Rand Paul says he might sue government
June 9th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul says he might sue government

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said Sunday he's looking into suing the federal government in the wake of what has been a tumultuous week for the Obama administration and National Security Agency.

"I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I'm going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies; ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit," Paul said on FOX News Sunday.

"If we get 10 million Americans saying, 'We don't want our phone records looked at' then maybe someone will wake up and things will change in Washington."

The controversy began this week after multiple published reports said the NSA has been mining the phone and Internet records of both U.S. citizens and people around the world in a quest to prevent terrorist attacks.

President Obama addressed the issue Friday, saying the information gathered is extremely broad and that the government isn't monitoring the content of the data or people's names unless they have probable cause and a warrant.

But Paul said this data collection is by no means a modest invasion of privacy and in fact may even weaken America's counterterrorism operations.

"We are looking through so much data that I think it makes our fight against terrorism worse," Paul said.

In the end, Paul - known as a strong proponent of civil liberties - said this intelligence-gathering strategy is simply a step too far.

"I think the American people are with me and I think if you talk to young people who use computers on a daily basis, they are absolutely with me," Paul said.

Filed under: NSA • Rand Paul
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Ron L

    One other thing..people blaming this President need to learn a little about the history of our country. This all ORIGINALLY started in the late 1970's, then the 911 tragedy caused the passing of the Patriot Act which definitely gave the government more power to do the same. Now many in the Congress, Senate, and the President feel we need it. It is up to us "WE THE PEOPLE" to tell them, we'd rather accept the risk, than give up the civil liberties, and privacy. THIS, is what it really boils down to.

    June 9, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. USA

    Darla, a Supreme Court ruling (which could result from this lawsuit) is the ultimate way to change something in the United States.

    Maybe commenting on Canadian issues would be more up your alley? You seem unfamiliar with how US law works if you think this action would be frivolous.

    June 9, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Lawrence

    I am in, give us the poll and a poll we can print off and I and many will hit the streets and we will top your number you say you need. Lets get started today.

    June 9, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. wildbill

    So you did not publish my comment.thaaaaaaaanks!

    June 9, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Mr. Playboy

    This goes back to the Patriot Act. Bush did it and now Obama. Paul ought to be mad at the Russians and Chinese for conducting cyber war against the U.S. After all we would never do that to them. NA!

    June 9, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Tony

    Sorry, the federal government cannot be sued without its consent, not even if someone from Congress wants to sue it.

    Also, taxpayers do not have standing to sue the government unless it is about how much they owe. Because the IRS did not deny any application for 501c4 status from conservative groups (which are actually for social welfare groups), there wasn't even an injury.

    June 9, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Chris

    Where do I sign my name?

    June 9, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Joe

    'The People of the United States vs Barack Hussain Obama'

    June 9, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Rocky Green

    We should sue rand for wasting American tax payers dollars with frivolous 13hr filibusters. Racist pig. By the way I didn't capitalize his name just to show what a little man he is.

    June 9, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. gullible white cattle

    this is ethnic warfare against white America, white people.

    June 9, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. plain&simple

    Right Rand....sue the Government for the law you voted for!!! Sounds about right!!!

    June 9, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Kenny K

    Congress make and change laws. Rand Paul is a member of congress. Therefore, he is going to sue himself.

    June 9, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. don in albuquerque

    I love all these moronic posts against the President. Did we forget, or is it selective memory, or just another attempt to rewrite history? As I recall we pretty much sent many of our rights and liberties down the tube under Dubya. He was the "daddy" of the Patriot Act. And all these jokingly called senators who voted for its renewal were either watching Flintstones reruns, or sleeping, or did not bother to read it anyway, and that includes Sen Rand Paul (aka aqua buddha).
    He should have known all about this, but it probably wasn't in the grounds at the bottom of this tea cup that day. Paul is a total waste of food no different then any of the other senators on both sides. Only difference. He is not as bright as the others. Keep your mouth shut and maybe the rest of the herd will not figure out you did not do your job either Sen Randy.

    June 9, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Laverne

    Americans are so uneducated when it comes to politics. This has been going on so long, but when it comes to Obama everything suddenly becomes new and unheard of. Rand Paul is about to be one of the silliest men in the senate. He is not doing this because he is interested in helping the people, he is interested in helping himself in 2016! He is 10 times worst than his dad whom I happen to respect. I guess it is alright to have grandeur and illusional thoughts, but this guy will NEVER be POTUS, the majority of Americans who are in their right mind will never vote for him, NEVER!!

    June 9, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. nathanielmaloney

    i am with Rand Paul all the way....while you sheeple sit on your hands and don't question about invasion of privacy and drone strikes against American citizens, Rand Paul is doing something about it.

    June 9, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Tony

    I assumed the lawsuit was about the IRS. Still, the federal government cannot be sued without its consent, and citizens cannot sue the government without an injury. There is no evidence that the government had actually looked into the content of the phone and internet records without probable cause and warrants.

    June 9, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Becky

    I am certainly in favor of this. Obama and his admin, have no business looking at or listening to people's private conversations. It this was working at all then why didn't it stop the terrorist at the Boston Bombing?? The big 0 claims it a help in terrorism, well it didn't help the people who were killed and maimed in Boston did it?
    Oh, and Donkey Party...I really hate people who bring up racism because the American people are questions this president and his cabinet. As American citizens it is not only our right but our duty to call for an investigation into any activity we see as wrong when it comes to govering this country. I don't give a damn and neither does at least 90 % of the country if that president and his cabinet are black, white, pink or purple as long as they are not trying to trample our rights and are really trying to protect us. The big 0 is not! He is only interested in becoming King and trampling our rights. Your probley one of those who only voted for him because he was black in the first place.

    June 9, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Brenda

    Count me in. I am a member and donor of a Tea Party and receive e-mails from many conservative groups. I am 66 years old, in the ministry, and was audited last year for the first time in my life. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    June 9, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. ST

    And Rand Paul has it in his mind to run for Presidency come 2016? That will be the end of every life. By the way, wasn't Rand Paul who was tauting that George Bush, "W" kept us safe? How did he do it Rand? Never seen a clueless individual like this nut.

    June 9, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. annes

    Paul Rand is an idiot. The media doesn't report the news they make up as much gossip as they can because they think it's exciting to watch all the conspiracy theorist jump on the bad wagon. PRISM as been presented as something it is not because it's more exciting to the media to present it that way and will discount anything to the contrary. They don't report anything that makes sense but make up things to argue about while saying the people agree with them. And who is going to pay for this frivolous lawsuit that will end being a losing circus of misrepresented info?

    June 9, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. John

    I'm in, where do I sign!?

    June 9, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Dave Harris

    Am I missing something here? This was a Republican program. Obama might have failed to stop it, but who does Rand want to sue? Dick Chaney? George W.? And it was his own cowardly Republicans, terrified of their own shadows, who repeatedly voted to continue it. This nonsense just reinforces his well-deserved reputation as a self-serving flake.

    June 9, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Ran Paul has Wild Turkey nose .

    Rand Paul / Jim Beam 2016

    Why not sue your self !

    June 9, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Joseph

    I hope he succeeds with this plan of action.. And I hope he runs for president in 2016

    June 9, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Anything for a headline, eh Rand? Pay attention much? Or is this just fake outrage to try to fool the foolish?

    June 9, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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