The U.S. Department of Justice successfully halted Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s pending National Security Agency lawsuit on Monday, which will stay on hold while a similar case questioning the constitutionality of certain surveillance moves forward.
D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon approved the department’s request to halt Paul’s case over warrantless surveillance of Americans while the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hears a case against the NSA filed by conservative activist Larry Klayman, Politico reports.
Leon released a preliminary injunction last December forbidding the signals intelligence agency from collecting any cellphone metadata from the Verizon accounts of conservative activist Larry Klayman and one of his legal clients. Leon’s injunction said that NSA programs like PRISM, which collect massive amounts of consumer metadata, could be considered violations against the unreasonable searches and seizures prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. (RELATED: In Massive Blow To NSA, Judge Says Phone Spying Likely Unconstitutional)
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the senator’s suit in February on behalf of Paul and the conservative lobbyist group FreedomWorks. Cuccinelli said Paul’s case stands apart from Klayman’s because of its status as a class-action suit filed on behalf of all Americans caught up in NSA’s warrantless bulk surveillance of phone calls made and connected inside and outside the U.S.
The group opposed to the hold in May, and accused the Justice Department of “stalling.” While in place, the ruling prevents Paul and his team from filing subpoenas for potential government-held evidence.