Rand Paul Will Continue His NSA Lawsuit, Even Though Obama Just Undercut It

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 26 2014 5:59 PM

Rand Paul Will Continue His NSA Lawsuit, Even Though Obama Just Undercut It

If Berkeley is for him, who can be against him?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

My latest piece covers a day on the Hill when the defenders of the NSA (the House intel committee, basically) offered civil libertarians a deal—like the administration, they were ready to end the government's bulk data collection program. The civil libertarians, led by Sens. Rand Paul, Ron Wyden, and Mark Udall, took the deal, gathering in a power circle and declaring victory.

Except for Paul. Sort of. Paul had made international news by launching a civil suit against the Obama administration, on behalf of anyone whose metadata was collected. He insisted that there remained a Fourth Amendment problem and that the Supreme Court would have to be the final arbiter. This afternoon, he and FreedomWorks (who joined him in the suit) announced their next steps.

While the White House has indicated that new legislation is needed to end mass data collection, a court settlement would put an immediate halt to this illegal and unconstitutional activity. Lead Counsel Ken Cuccinelli sent a letter today to the Department of Justice outlining the terms of a settlement which would accomplish exactly what the White House has called for in the press.

What're the terms of the settlement? Neither Paul nor FreedomWorks said, in their identical statements, and follow-up questions were not answered. Suffice to say that the media-driving lawsuit is not over just because the administration is abandoning the policy that sparked it.

UPDATE: And the settlement language is here:

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.