WASHINGTON — Are you an American? Do you use a phone?
If the answer is yes, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is suing President Obama on your behalf and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is now your attorney.
On Wednesday, Paul — along with the conservative group FreedomWorks — filed a federal lawsuit against Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander and FBI Director James Comey over the government’s collection of telephone metadata.
“We believe that this lawsuit could conceivably represent hundreds of millions of people who have phone lines in this country or cell phones,” Paul said from the steps of the federal courthouse in Washington D.C. on Wednesday after filing his suit.
“This we believe will be an historic lawsuit,” the Republican lawmaker said. “We think it may well be the largest class action lawsuit ever filed on behalf of the Bill of Rights.”
“There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records would be taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant, and without individualization,” Paul said.
Cuccinelli, the lead counsel for Paul and the tea party-aligned FreedomWorks, said at the press conference that this “case is about protecting the Fourth Amendment rights of every phone-using American from our government.”
“If you don’t use a phone, and haven’t in the last five years, don’t worry about this case,” Cuccinelli said. “It doesn’t affect you. But if you have used a phone in the last five years, this case is about protecting your rights as against your own government in their invasion of your privacy.”
Cuccinelli said he was optimistic about the case, though said he expects it to be a “several years process.”
“We hope that when this path is all done and we’re at the end of it, we will have pushed the federal government back across the line of trampling the Constitution once again,” he said.
Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, said the lawsuit is “probably one of the most important things that my organization has ever participated in.”
“We think the government has overstepped its bounds,” he said. “We think that the Fourth Amendment is something worth fighting for. And I think a lot of Americans agree with us.”
Kibbe said his group plans to “educate and to shed more light on why the Fourth Amendment is so important.”
“We don’t think this is a partisan issue,” he said. “This isn’t Republican versus Democrat. This isn’t about the Obama administration. This is about a government that has crossed a 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.”
Speaking to a large gathering of reporters on a frigid Washington morning, Paul said the lawsuit will ask the court “whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user all the time, without limits, without individualization.”
“We fought the American revolution because we were unhappy about British soldiers writing generalized warrants,” he said. “We wrote the Fourth Amendment to be specific to the person, to the place and to the items.”
The Fourth Amendment says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
According to a text of the lawsuit provided to The Daily Caller, Paul is asking for “injunctive relief against defendants’ mass, suspicionless, non-particularized collection, storage, retention, and search of telephone metadata.”
It asks the courts to rule the government’s Mass Associational Tracking Program unconstitutional and order the government to purge all meta data collected under the program.
Read the lawsuit: