Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Politics Your Rights Online

Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata 380

Posted by Soulskill
from the bipartisan-effort-to-blame-the-other-party dept.
RoccamOccam writes Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is filing a class action lawsuit against President Obama and other members of his administration over the National Security Agency's collection of phone metadata, a practice he believes violates the Fourth Amendment. In a YouTube video released Tuesday, Paul compared the government surveillance to the warrantless searches practiced by the British military prior to American independence."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So few role models left in the world. This man is truly my hero for standing up to the machine.

  • Rand Paul has open disdain for other amendments of the constitution. He is using the fourth amendment to bring more attention to his presidential aspirations but when his corporate masters tell him later that the fourth amendment gets in the way of profit he will be in a hurry to backpedal.
    • by khallow (566160)

      Rand Paul has open disdain for other amendments of the constitution.

      Like what?

      • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:49PM (#46233269) Homepage Journal

        Rand Paul has open disdain for other amendments of the constitution.

        Like what?

        The one's about taxation.

        But that won't stop simple-minded hatemongers from playing the false equivalence game.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by geekoid (135745)

        13th 14th* and 15th.

        also, section 1 and 2 of article III

        *he claimes it' good, but then also says it' snot good. Depending on weather or not it's use happens to be aligned with his politics.

        • Citation needed
        • Perot's office is no different from anyone else's. It's already been established in law that the Thirteenth Amendment doesn't apply so long as you call them "interns."

        • There is much rumor of the Paul family having racist leanings, but the best citation I have seen is an article written by a 3rd party published in a newsletter published under his father's name. Do you have an example of a more overt act or statement to support the allegation? As someone who does support their calls for fiscal restraint and reduced powers of government, but who also finds an equal treatment of all mankind to be a higher ideal, I am interested in evidence.

    • by JWW (79176)

      So not liking the 16th or 17th amendments means that you have to sit idly by while the government erases the 4th???

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @07:06PM (#46233399)

      You know he wants to end the Federal reserve right? Can you imagine ANY "corporate fat cat" liking that idea? He has a slightly better chance at getting elected than his father, but basically all the money in corporate America will be against him should he get nominated. His only real chance is if the market collapse we all know is coming, hits before the election.

    • Are you serious? What planet are you from? I'll bet you still wear your Obama 2008 pin huh?
    • He is using the fourth amendment to bring more attention to his presidential aspirations

      By all means continue to vote for candidates that ignore the constitution instead of referencing it.

  • but it is still ironic that the people that gave him the power, and started the surveillance state are not suing Obama for continuing it.
    • by paulpach (798828)

      but it is still ironic that the people that gave him the power, and started the surveillance state are not suing Obama for continuing it.

      This makes no sense. Are you saying that you expect Bush to sue Obama for continuing the mass surveillance?

      Perhaps you did not mean to put that "not" in there. In that case, you are confusing Bush with Rand Paul simply because they are republicans. In reality they are as far apart ideologically as can be. Not only that, but Rand Paul was not a senator when the mass surveillance started, and both him and his father opposed the patriot act from the very beginning.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        He thinks that Obama started the surveillance. Not that it absolves anyone, Obama's fully guilty of continuing Bush's crimes.
        I think the point was that that the left appears to be anxious to turn America into a prison state, as long as it's their guy running the prison.
  • Rand may be right but his reasons for doing this are not us.
    • by JWW (79176) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:32PM (#46233121)

      Your post is confusing we.

    • That's right. Fuck the messenger even if the message is correct.
      • I think he was merely pointing out a relevant fact for all the flag waving/pin wearing idiots that are repeatedly posting that this self serving action proves that they were right all along and everybody should vote republican and isn't Obama so evil etc etc.
        The truth is that while the action in of itself is a highly commendable one, his reasons for doing it are not and both he and the republicans are still who they were before this announcement.

        Nothing has changed!

        Of cause that would make your angry, nasty

      • A broken clock is right twice a day. I agree with him regarding the NSA's actions.

        Here's a clever idea: Why not do your job and team up with other like-minded people in the House and Senate to solve this problem rather than starting lawsuits?

  • Unfortunately, when you own the law and pervert it until it becomes a tool of repression, people like Rand Paul and their sensibilities don't matter.
  • Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:19PM (#46233001) Homepage

    The courts will just dismiss this case for "lack of standing" as they did [yahoo.com] his father's lawsuit against Obama for violating the War Powers Act regarding Libya.

    The Constitution provides a remedy for the Executive Branch violating laws, and it's not having the Legislative Branch go to the Judicial Branch. Congress should pass a veto-proof law clarifying its intention that universal wiretapping is against the law, and then if the Executive Branch persists, then start impeachment proceedings, where members of Congress act as judge and jury. Rand Paul's lawsuit is nothing but grandstanding -- similar to the conservative all-talk-no-results Republicans have been feeding their constituents for the past half-century, but this time it's libertarian all-talk-no-results. And unconstitutional to boot.

    (Congress could conceivably start impeachment proceedings now without first passing clarifying legislation, but impeachment is a card that realistically can be played only once every couple of decades, so you want to make sure. If you don't have the votes for legislation, you sure aren't going to have them for impeachment. (You can also substitute "ethics and political will" for "votes".))

    • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:40PM (#46233191)

      You may be right about the "lack of standing" issue, but established law is against him anyway. They will have to challenge a number of precedents to win this case, and that may not be easy. Even then there are going to be problems running into Article II arguments during a time of military conflict. The simplest way would be for Congress to pass a law that clarifies its stand.

      As to impeachment, it isn't that hard. It is conviction in the Senate that would be the sticking point. There is no way the current Democratic Senate would ever convict Obama over this matter. He is effectively immune. Just look at the way the administration is altering implementation and features of the Affordable Care Act. It is being done in essence by decree. They are doing things that the law doesn't allow for, and I doubt there will be much fallout. That is the irony of this entire controversy. People keep claiming that the NSA's actions are illegal and unconstitutional, but they aren't. It has been decided many times in court, the Congress has passed laws authorizing it, and the President(s) have authorized it. And yet everyone is up in arms about it. And yet when you look at the lawless changes to the Affordable Care Ace, and the IRS political intrigue, it is mostly chirping crickets from the media and most people commenting here. It almost makes you wonder if people are really concerned about lawlessness, of if they only care about what they think is their ox being gored.
         

      • People keep claiming that the NSA's actions are illegal and unconstitutional, but they aren't

        They might be legal but they are certainly unconstitutional by any common sense reading of the Constitution.

        Thus Ron Paul's refrain "legalize the constitution."

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Cold re "decided many times in court, the Congress has passed laws authorising it, and the President(s) have authorised it" are basic color of law efforts that do not remove the 4th amendment protections.
        US courts, Congress and other parts of the US gov cannot just bypass 4th amendment protections depending on their party political views, needs or wants any decade or term due to some issue.
      • The supreme court determined slavery to be legal and the return of fugitive slaves to be constitutional. The law is not always moral. When you reference court decisions to validate your point you are effectively resigning your morality to your masters. Do not fall into that trap. Think for yourself and stand up for what you know is right/wrong. "time of military conflict" -- that would be the last 20 years in America with no end in sight. But of course, there is no military conflict because only th
      • Even then there are going to be problems running into Article II arguments during a time of military conflict.

        Last I checked, the only "military conflict" that Article II recognizes is a state of War. Which we don't have, since Congress has never declared war...

        • I refer you to Public Law 107-40 commonly known as Authorization For Use Of Military Force [gpo.gov]

          It is well settled legal precedent that is legally equivalent to a declaration of war.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The good news is the open courts in the US can be great places to start good law reform:
      http://www.freedomwatchusa.org... [freedomwatchusa.org]
      https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying... [eff.org]
      Skilled legal teams all over the USA are slowly working their way up the US court system exposing vast illegal domestic surveillance networks and the use of parallel construction.
    • by paulpach (798828)

      The Constitution provides a remedy for the Executive Branch violating laws, and it's not having the Legislative Branch go to the Judicial Branch. Congress should pass a veto-proof law clarifying its intention that universal wiretapping is against the law, and then if the Executive Branch persists, then start impeachment proceedings, where members of Congress act as judge and jury. Rand Paul's lawsuit is nothing but grandstanding -- similar to the conservative all-talk-no-results Republicans have been feeding their constituents for the past half-century, but this time it's libertarian all-talk-no-results. And unconstitutional to boot.

      No. The executive does not have the power until the legislative passes a veto-proof law banning the power. It is supposed to work the opposite way, where a law needs to be approved by both the executive, legislative, and even then the judicial can still strike it down if it deems it unconstitutional. But that still fails because as the patriot act and many other laws demonstrate, the legislative branch passes (purposely) very vague laws that allow the executive to interpret whatever he wants out of it

      • No. The executive does not have the power until the legislative passes a veto-proof law banning the power. It is supposed to work the opposite way, where a law needs to be approved by both the executive, legislative, and even then the judicial can still strike it down if it deems it unconstitutional.

        OK, what is the remedy, and is that remedy provided for in the Constitution?

        • The ultimate remedy ends with the military. If the three branches can't work it out, they are ultimately where the buck really stops.

          If the military wants to force a change, they could. I don't think they want to here, just answering your question for what a possible remedy would be.

    • Wrong. This is a class action suit on behalf of cell phone owner's. That gives this case standing.

      This is not only a political stance suit like his father's. This is a legitimate suit of a class that has been directly wronged. Standing will never be questioned.
      • Wrong. This is a class action suit on behalf of cell phone owner's. That gives this case standing.

        Who specifically has been harmed in which specific manner? What were the specific monetary damages incurred?

        • Are you serious? All of those can be answered easily. Just think for once will ya!
        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Who specifically has been harmed in which specific manner? What were the specific monetary damages incurred?

          Specifically, it doesn't matter if there are damages. Spying on Americans without warrants is punishable by a $10,000 fine and a five year prison term. For each individual offense.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Legislation is only an option if the new laws are actually obeyed.

    • by smartr (1035324)
      I can understand the cause for cynicism, but I'd also point out that there is a huge difference between a nutty congressman grandstanding and a senator who is a serious presidential contender pressing the courts. Courts tend to do wacky things when it sounds like the shit is going to hit the fan. If Rand actually successfully pushes this through somehow, it probably would not help his chances in further elections because the changes will have been made and presidential candidates won't be openly promoting N
    • libertarian all-talk-no-results

      At least they are talking about it. All you can do is wring your hands and point out how it is not even worth trying. I'm glad you were not in charge during the war of independence when it made no sense to even try and fight the mighty British. I guess DNA for backbone fades after a few generations.

    • by Chelloveck (14643)

      Congress should pass a veto-proof law clarifying its intention that universal wiretapping is against the law

      Why in the world would they do that? The vast majority of Congress want the government to have wiretapping powers.

      • Congress should pass a veto-proof law clarifying its intention that universal wiretapping is against the law

        Why in the world would they do that? The vast majority of Congress want the government to have wiretapping powers.

        I agree with you, but I said "should" not "would".

    • Rand Paul's lawsuit is nothing but grandstanding -- similar to the conservative all-talk-no-results Republicans have been feeding their constituents for the past half-century, but this time it's libertarian all-talk-no-results.

      I like how your response totally skirts the fact that Barack Obama is responsible for everything that the executive branch has done for more than half a decade. Every time Slashdotters rant about the NSA, they are really ranting about He Who Must Not Be Named (or Blamed).

      But it's so much more fashionable to blame the wascally wepubwicans for everything.

  • The first thing Obama did was get Congress to sign off on all the domestic spying so that he wouldn't take the fall. They kept doing it all, but now the feds have legal cover. Mind you, I think it's all shamelessly unConstitutional but you probably have to attach the laws.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Congress signed off on it because that's how it's done. Obama didn't 'get them' to do it. It's not like he held a gun to their heads.
      Same with Bush administration.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The unConstitutional part covers all the aspect of color of law and other token legal efforts to get around the US Constitution. The legal cover will fail in open court. The neat aspect is the open court arguments can be seen by all.
      The US stands by its freedoms and rights or has to revert to using secret laws in secret courts - sooner or later good lawyers find out and it all surfaces in open court challenges again and again.
      The only way for the US gov to undo its Constitutional aspects of law is to do
    • by Uberbah (647458)

      This day in simple answers to bad questions.

      The first thing Obama did was get Congress to sign off on all the domestic spying so that he wouldn't take the fall.

      Senior members of Obama's own party [huffingtonpost.com] have said they find out about these programs from the press, via whisteblowers like Snowden, before being briefed by the White House. How are you supposed to stop something you know about, and even if you did know, how does that make you more responsible than the trigger-man?

  • by geekoid (135745)

    Congress is how to address this issue. This is a PR stunt that will get nowhere. Plus it will confuse the issue even more.

    • Congress is how to address this issue.

      So.. lynch mobs on the Capitol steps? Burning effigies in their home districts?

      I'm snowballin', help me out here.

  • by leftie (667677) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:49PM (#46233271)

    Obama has allowed much of Bush-Cheney's Intelligence policy/personnel to remain in place, but it was implemented by Bush & Cheney.

    • So let's get Bush and Cheney out of the White House! Wait...
    • So they all suck. We know that. The only ones that even try to do the right thing are the Libertarians. But oh ya, they are all crazy so lets just keep voting for the same old group.
  • When a United States Senator feels that he cannot restrain the Executive Branch except by enlisting the aid of a judge, we have lost the Republic.

    Mr. Paul, you are a UNITED STATES SENATOR. You have all the power you need to put a stop to anything government does that you don't like. Write legislation. Get it passed. If the president vetoes, OVERRIDE IT. Congress was given more power than any other branch for a reason. Use it.

    While you're at it, how about legislation that educates Congress on their ro

  • while I admire the initiative the first Federal judge who hears the case will toss it because Holder and his bunch of cronies will say 'National Security' and that a mere Federal Judge won't be able to hear the case.

    Case Closed.

    What Paul should do is motivate his colleagues in Congress and git rid of the FISA court and get us back on track by dismantling this bullshit that they've created and turned a blind eye to. That's the only way this system will stop intruding into our lives. While they're at it pas

  • The fact is, that the metadata belongs to the phone companies, not to the user.
  • What's Rand Paul doing that he's so concerned about?

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

Working...