U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky officially filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration for the NSA's metadata collection.
"On behalf of myself, FreedomWorks and everyone in America who has a phone, we are filing suit against the president of the United States in defense of the Fourth Amendment." (Via Fox News)
Paul is filing suit with FreedomWorks as a co-plaintiff. It's a conservative and libertarian nonprofit organization that raises money for the Republican Party. Paul will be represented by Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia. (Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore)
In response to Paul's lawsuit, the Justice Department said in a statement, "We remain confident that the program is legal, as at least 15 judges have previously found."
The last big case against the NSA and its constitutionality came in December when the ACLU filed suit against the NSA and lost.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley said the NSA's phone surveillance is a "vital tool" and "there is no evidence that the Government has used any of the bulk telephony metadata it collected for any purpose other than investigating and disrupting terrorist attacks." (Via CNET)
Rand Paul has been threatening this lawsuit since the start of the year, and he's not the first person to file suit against the federal government because of the NSA. As many have pointed out, though, he is by far the most high-profile plaintiff.
"Because of Mr. Paul's status as a rising star of the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party — one who staged a nearly 13-hour filibuster — his lawsuit may attract particular attention." (Via The New York Times)
Now, while Paul's name is on the suit, he says he's expecting millions of Americans to be part of it, too.
"The fourth amendment says that the warrant should be specific to the individual but you're telling me a single warrant can be applied to everyone that has an AT&T phone call. That sounds like it does go against what our founding fathers intended."
Paul also told CNN while having millions of Americans involved in the lawsuit really helps illustrate the problem, it also could make things more complicated.
But critics say Paul has a different motivation.
"Plaintiffs are also encouraged to make a generous donation to help rally up to 10 million Americans to support Rand Paul's lawsuit. ... Ten million Americans is a lot of Americans, it's also a lot of votes." (Via MSNBC)
The lawsuit names four people as defendants — President Barack Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander and FBI Director James Comey, Jr. (Via The White House, Director of National Intelligence, NSA, FBI)