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

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

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  • 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.
  • Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

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

    The courts will just dismiss this case for "lack of standing" as they did [] 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".))

  • by Calavar ( 1587721 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:26PM (#46233055)
    Come on, this is 2014. Youtube is a legitimate way to make announcements. The two official State of the Union videos have about a million Youtube views put together. More people watched Bill Nye's evolution/creationism debate on Youtube than live on television. Sure, there's lots of crap on Youtube, but there is plenty of crap on cable TV as well. Is NBC a bad source of news just because Jerry Springer is distributed by NBCUniversal? Is CBS a bad source of news because it broadcasts Survivor? Same thing applies to the internet. One one end, you have and and on the other end you have The fact that Timecube exists doesn't automatically discount everything else on the internet.
  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:33PM (#46233131)

    Tell me about it. We as a society have abandoned the wealthy. Who speaks for them anymore?

    Remember, dude, thanks to Obama, when Sarah Palin becomes President, she'll be able to spy on you at will, fire missiles at you from drones, and arbitrariliy decide which laws are enforced and which aren't.

    Be careful what you wish for...

  • 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.

  • by smartr ( 1035324 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:45PM (#46233243)
    Let me guess.... You voted for Obama, and you would vote for him again despite the NSA spying. The NSA spying in no way makes Obama a douche, because he's a unicorn. The NSA issue isn't that important, and you'd vote for another president who supports such action, as long as they're a Democrat?
  • 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.

  • by The Cat ( 19816 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:51PM (#46233285)

    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 role and power in the federal government? Given nonsense like this, it seems such legislation would be pertinent.

    Also while you're at it, repeal the 17th amendment. The Senate is supposed to be a check against both the Executive Branch AND the House. Restore the Constitution to its original purpose.

  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:55PM (#46233319) Homepage Journal

    No, Obama is just like Bush, only he spends more which I never thought was possible. Palin would be like the worst of every President rolled into one then crossed with Jar Jar Binks.

  • by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @06:57PM (#46233341)

    CBS is an integral part of the new US Department of Propaganda. You will never hear/see ANYthing on any of the official government "mouthpieces" that the government does not want you to hear/see. Places like Youtube are, for the moment, the one of the few places to still get "non-government-approved" news/information.. In the case of Rand Paul, he is one of the VERY few members of Congress who seem to actually have the people's best interests at heart. I'm thankful we have him on our side.. Obama-bots, feel free to mod me down... You *know* you want to...

    I'm not a Republican, nor a Democrat, I'M AN AMERICAN!! AND I'M PISSED!!!!

  • 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.

  • by MadMartigan2001 ( 766552 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @07:10PM (#46233441)
    The Democrate-vs-Republican argument is over. They are all the same. Please and try and keep up with the times.
  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @07:25PM (#46233585)

    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 pass a Privacy bill of rights that also keeps Google and other large data exaggerators out of our lives too.

  • Your 3rd party logic is fucked up. I could just as fallaciously claim a vote for a third party is as good as a vote for the democrats. Also, a world occupied by people like you would never have a rival 3rd party, because of your own catch-22 requirement for voting for one. Great job. You're part of the problem without realizing it. At least you're not evil. Peace.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @08:04PM (#46233925)

    It depends. I voted for Obama both times, but, really, the alternatives were McCain and Mittens.

    No, the alternate choice was a president who was not of the same party that controlled Congress.

    You voted to ensure that nothing could possibly happen to the President no matter how he overstepped. You voted to make sure the press never reported on any crossing of boundaries, no matter how awful.

    And you will continue to vote that way. It's simply who you are, you desire control to be exerted over you.

  • by Goody ( 23843 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @08:10PM (#46233963) Journal

    You're so right, well, except for issues like wages, the environment, foreign policy, social programs, separation of church and state, education, taxation, gun rights, and abortion in which they're polar opposites. So, actually, the only thing they're the same on is surveillance.

  • by DarkVader ( 121278 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @10:35PM (#46234999)

    Well, it actually IS society's money, without society money wouldn't exist. And spending money is what keeps the economy going, cut the federal budget too far and you cause a depression.

    And it's time to undermine the federal system even further. Let's do away with the antiquated notion that the Senate should be connected to the states, and district the country so that each senator is representing the same number of people. It's insane that New York gets the same number of senators as North Dakota. And while we're at it, let's take away drawing of districts from the states, they've proven utterly incompetent at it. Let's district with an automated system to completely eliminate gerrymandering.

    And let's come up with a way to make federal government even more direct, it's time for federal referendums.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @01:37AM (#46235769)

    Ever hear of the House of Representatives? They provide the proportional representation. Ever hear of a Federalism? That's where the states come in, each represents a more or less regional population, and is more responsive to the region as a whole (at least before the 17th amendment). Ever hear of a republic? That's the form of government we have. What you propose is a direct democracy at a national scale, which is terrible for minority rights and individual liberty. Go read Payne and Jefferson to see why your view is antithetical to the foundation and essence of the USA.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.