Sen. Rand Paul speaking at CPAC 2012 (Image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is filing a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over the surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA), part what Paul calls an effort to “protect the Fourth Amendment.”
Paul made the announcement on the “Hannity” program on Fox News, where he said he began collecting signatures for the class-action suit about six months ago.
“The question here is whether or not, constitutionally, you can have a single warrant apply to millions of people,” Paul said. “So we thought, what better way to illustrate the point than having hundreds of thousands of Americans sign up for a class action suit.”
It’s “kind of an unusual class-action suit,” Paul said, because any American who owns a cell phone is eligible to join the case.
Paul said that the legal team includes the Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who also ran for governor last year.
“We’re hoping, with his help, that we can get a hearing in court, and ultimately get this class-action lawsuit, I think the first of its kind on a constitutional question, all the way to the Supreme Court,” Paul said.
No court documents have been filed yet, according to a Daily Intelligencer report published Friday.
Yet Paul’s advisers said that his legal team is drafting a complaint and plans to file the suit “soon,” most likely in the D.C. District Court.
The suit will center on the claim that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs amount to searches that violate the Fourth Amendment rights of the American people.
“We want [the Obama administration] to protect the fourth amendment. We want them to protect the right to privacy,” Paul said on Fox News.
“We think we can have security, that we can defend against terrorism, but that doesn’t mean that every single American has to give up their privacy,” he said.
A legal counsel for Paul, who was left nameless by Daily Intelligencer, said that he expects the case will be similar to the one filed by Larry Klayman.
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