Ted Cruz: Thin Justice Argument to Dismiss Rand Paul NSA Suit

Thursday, 08 May 2014 02:20 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Sen. Ted Cruz says a Justice Department request that a federal judge dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed by Sen. Rand Paul against the National Security Agency is based on "highly dubious" legal grounds.

Kentucky Republican Paul filed the suit in the aftermath of revelations about the agency’s mass collection of personal information through its top-secret phone and Internet surveillance program.

Texas Republican Cruz issued a statement on Wednesday after Justice Department lawyers argued the case should be dismissed because Paul could not prove that his phone records were collected by the agency nor did he offer "sufficient well-pleaded, non-conclusory allegations demonstrating that they have been injured because of the telephony metadata program," according to the Washington Examiner.

"The factual predicate for DOJ's claim, at least as you've described it, seems to be highly dubious given the repeated public statements of the administration that every American's cellphones' metadata records have been intercepted; and, indeed, the administration has responded to members of Congress by saying 'yes, members of Congress have had their records intercepted just like other citizens,'" Cruz told the Examiner.

"So, given their public admissions, that's a curious basis for the department to attempt to litigate the case."

Paul filed the case as a private citizen against President Barack Obama and other top members of the administration in February, arguing the president had "refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the Fourth Amendment" right to privacy.

Paul has been an outspoken critic of the NSA’s surveillance program and conducted a drive to sign up 10 million people for the class-action lawsuit using his campaign website and political action committee.

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