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. Dennis

    You people are fooling yourselves if you think this was just Verizon. They are just the biggest so they are taking majority of the flack. Obama has them ALL tapped. The Patriot Act MUST be repealed. And people, don't forget for a second that it was passed under Bush. Obama must be removed from office NOW. Mr. Rand, where do I sign up.

    June 9, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Walt

    @Paul Williamson, he voted against extending it.

    June 9, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. TNPatriot

    Paul is a joke and an embarrassment to the state of KY. Now he wants to sue himself for not doing his job LOL. This clown has introduced 79 bills in the Senate, only 8 of which he was able to get at least 5 other members to co sponsor. 49 of his bills died in the originating committee, 2 made it to a vote and neither got more than 16 votes, so the majority of his own party would not vote with him. He currently has 28 bills in the original committee and he failed to get a single co sponsor on all but 11.

    June 9, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Penny schriefer

    Where do I sign!!!!

    June 9, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Joy

    I really don`t understand everyone`s anger. I have nothing to hide, so snoop away. All politicians are jokes. They only say what they think people want to hear to get ellected. Do I think Obama is the worst president since Nixon? Yes, but what people don`t seem to grasp is that Americans voted him into the White House.

    June 9, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. usn-ret

    Since Rand Paul ( Tea Party Darling ) knows just how much info is being sifted through and he doesn't do much in Congress, maybe he'd volunteer to help the NSA. Oh, Good luck on the Lawsuit ! LOL

    June 9, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Adam

    @Viking woman: "vikingwoman
    If any1 thinks this grandstand of Rand Paul's is to benefit the citizens of this country, it's not! He's simply jumping on a "bandwagon" he can politicizie for his own gain, aka. his presidential ambitions! If any1 really thinks we have Any privacy in cyber space in a tech savvy world, you are seriously deluding yourself! I, for 1, have no problem w/any1 (employer, school, police, government) checking my phone or computer, because I have nothing to hide!!"

    If you don't mind the invasion of privacy and have nothing to hide, Move to North Korea, I'm sure you'll fit right in.

    June 9, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. ATD

    Love liberals. Love them. They're so sensitive. So virtuous. So CORRECT all the time. Open your eyes knuckleheads. Both parties support the NDAA and the Patriot Act. Both liberals and conservatives want to control people. But go ahead and keep waving your social issue flags in our faces. They'll do you good when you're under the boot of a tyrannical government.

    June 9, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Russ

    John, Rand's dad is a gynecologist not an eye doctor.

    June 9, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. larrylinn

    Rand Paul, you were elected as a Senator. Why don’t you do your job and work on some legislation to make these programs illegal? We can assume that such work is beyond your capabilities.

    June 9, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Kinpo

    Okay! Since he wants to sue, then it's appropriate for many of us to counter sue, because we believe the tea party to be a self serving political entity with motives counter productive to the well being of the nation.

    June 9, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. MaryM

    Yep, Paul is a TPer alright. Paul, Mr, I don't like civil rights, government man, That's right genius, sue yourself,

    June 9, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Bessy

    Oh please ! This guy is such a looser. He is part of the government and if he didn't know what he was voting on I would say that is his problem. He should have known.
    @ Think Again-- You are absolutely right. It scares the heck out of the Republicans if they think too many people are getting educated. They depend on the uneducated to preach all of their crap to.

    June 9, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Dallas

    Go away Rand. You are an embarrassment to yourself and the nation.

    June 9, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Constitutionalist

    As one poster pointed out, this buffoon already voted for the Patriot Act so is directly responsible for what we have today in our surveillance machine. The Supreme Court is not the way to Constitutionally challenge the validity of a law he voted for. They way to do it is to repeal the Patriot Act. He is just another banging gong looking for attention.

    He is a civil libertarian only in name or where it suits his personal agenda.

    June 9, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Julian Alien

    Rand is right, they have no business collecting any information on American citizens. If they really wanted to stop terrorists, then they would secure the borders, and stop letting in people from other countries.

    June 9, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. pkrbkr3

    Rand Paul doesn't know what he's talking about....another rattling Republican trying to sound like a statesman but making no sense. Liberals were investigated too.....the Citizens United is causing all of this uproar....some Tea Party groups were indeed trying to get tax exempt status, yet WERE political in nature. Grow up and stop whining, Republicans!

    June 9, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Just Nathan

    Rand Paul cares more about getting his name out there opposing everything so maybe he can lead our country right back into the horrible economic situation their messiah Dubbya did. What a tool.

    June 9, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Carolyn Hunt

    Mr. Paul, count me in when you start to collect signatures. If We The People do not soon wake up, our freedoms will be gone and the dictatorship that is currently trying to take over our White House will continue to abuse and ignore our constitution.

    June 9, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Woody

    @TN Patriot, No matter what you think, Senator Rand still did a TON more than Obama did while he was a senator.
    The very liberal minded ACLU is against Obama. We need to wake up as a nation and hold people accountable. Obama said that in his governement, the buck stops with him!!!!
    "You show me a person who is willing to give up some privacy for the sake of security, deserves neither!"–Benjamin Frankilin

    June 9, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Matt

    There is alot of misinformation in this comments section. First of since when is caring about important issues like privacy and constitutional right make you a nut job or only interested in a president bid. Theres a reason most of his bills dont pass its because most politician dont care about fighting the tough issues they would rather support what ever will get them re elected. This law suit idea is actually a response to the invasion of privacy by the NSA and breaking our constitutional rights not the IRS issue. People should be outraged that there is a "Secret court" passing laws that are unconstitutional. Obama promised change to move away from all this mess yet when he realized that the only way he can do things without it getting denied by congressional gridlock is to use his executive powers granted after 911 under bush he realized he had to amplify these efforts. I criticized bush enough 10x over and now i am criticizing obama for the same bs. It never ends does it? Thank you Obama for stoping my civil liberties from being violated, thank you Obama for closing Guantanamo, Thank you Obama for continuing with the bail outs of the bush administration, Thank you Obama for allowing spending to exceed the bush administration during a time of economic turmoil. Instead of chastizing Rand for fighting for something every American should be supporting we decide to post foolish comments about him being a racist or how he wasted tax payer money on a filibuster on drone strikes in America. Yes because we all support the starbucks down the street getting blown up over a terrorist inside. In Pakistan do you know how many innocent people die to being at the wrong place at the wrong time when targeting a terrorist. i am sure the same posters who criticize paul for his filibuster would be up in arms if their mother or brother died at the result of a drone strike of that same star bucks. Wake up and smell the coffee for real.

    June 9, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. James

    Haters be hatin' today...do yourselves a favor and lay off the Haterade.

    June 9, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Rand Paul / Rick Perry

    Aqua Buddha Buddy's 2016

    June 9, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Joe

    Rand is right, the Gov. wants control and this is how they get it. when Obama is done all the troth will come out about him ,, it always does..

    June 9, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Thomas

    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.

    What else , come clean ?

    June 9, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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