It’s official. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe have filed a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials over the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.
“On behalf of myself, FreedomWorks and everyone in America that has a phone, we’re filling suit against the President of the United States in defense of the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said in front of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user all of the time, without limits, without individualization.”
“This, we believe, will be a historic lawsuit. We think it may well be the largest class action lawsuit ever filed on behalf of the Bill of Rights,” he added.
President Barack Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander were named in the lawsuit. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will represent Paul and FreedomWorks in the case.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program is unconstitutional and an injunction against further use. Paul and FreedomWorks want purged any metadata from the existing database.
Paul and FreedomWorks argue that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment as well as standing to file the complaint on the grounds that they are subscribers to Verizon and AT&T.
“This is probably one of the most important things that my organization has ever participated in,” Kibbe said. “FreedomWorks is participating in this class action on behalf of our staff, on behalf of our 6 million-plus members, and frankly on behalf of anybody that has made a phone call since 2006. We think the government has overstepped its bounds, we think that the Fourth Amendment is something worth fighting for, and I think a lot of Americans agree with us.”
“We’re going to seek to educate and shed more light on why the Fourth Amendment is so important, because we don’t think this is a partisan issue. This isn’t Republican versus Democrat; this isn’t about the Obama Administration. This is about a government that has crossed the line. We want to put that genie back in the bottle because the Bill of Rights is a sacred document to everybody that’s an American citizen,” he added.
The lawsuit alleges that the metadata collected by the NSA “reveals a wealth of detail about Plaintiffs’ and class members’ familial, political, ideological, professional, religious, and other associations that are ordinarily unknown to government.”
Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano said this morning that he expects a decision in the case in September, adding that the Supreme Court will likely take up the case in the next 12 to 18 months.
Photo credit: Kate Todd