Rand Paul to file lawsuit against NSA; asks cell phone users to join

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rand-paul
Photo credit: www.washingtonpost.com

U.S. Sen Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced his intention to file a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration’s National Security Agency.

Paul told “The Sean Hannity Show” guest host Eric Bolling Friday that the suit will be based on violations of the unreasonable search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment.

Sen. Paul invited “anyone with a cellphone” to join the lawsuit by signing up on his 2016 senatorial campaign website. Paul indicated that as of the Friday broadcast, “several hundred thousand people” have joined him in the suit.

The question Paul wants the court to answer is, “Constitutionally, can you have a single warrant apply to millions of people?”

Paul also announced that former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has signed onto his legal team.

Watch the Fox News video clip.

Paul’s will be the first class- action lawsuit filed against the NSA since former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s widespread collection of telephone metadata. However, two other lawsuits have been filed, with the trial courts in each issuing wildly differing opinions.

Klayman v. Obama was filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court the day after The Guardian first broke the Snowden story. Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found the NSA’s activities “almost Orwellian” and likely unconstitutional.

Less than two weeks later, a federal court in New York arrived at an opposite conclusion. U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley found that the American Civil Liberties Union lacked standing to sue NSA Director James Clapper for Fourth Amendment rights violations. The court could have left it at that, but Pauley went on to rule that mere telephone numbers are not protected under the Fourth Amendment, though the judge did admit that the sheer amount of data collected was “breathtaking.”

“May you live in interesting times” is an ancient Chinese curse. A fitful Obamacare rollout accompanied by a spate of lawsuits, a midterm election that could result in a reversal of political fortune and now Paul’s class-action lawsuit could very well combine to make 2014 an interesting time.

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