Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is praising a federal judge for ruling against the National Security Agency’s collection of U.S. phone records.
In a blistering 68-page decision, Judge Richard Leon shot down much of the intelligence agency’s chief arguments to gather large swaths of telecommunications data.
Leon described the NSA program as “almost Orwellian” and found its practices were unconstitutional for violating Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure.
A libertarian-leaning senator, Paul says the decision could be the beginning of bringing transparency to a system that many argue is too shrouded.
“I commend U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon for upholding and protecting our Fourth Amendment rights,” he says. “This decision represents an important first step in having the constitutionality of government surveillance programs decided in the regular court system rather than a secret court where only one side is presented.”
Over the summer Paul proposed a bill aimed at fortifying Fourth Amendment protections for American’s phone records.
“The NSA phone surveillance program is a blatant abuse of power and an invasion of our privacy. This ruling reminds the federal government that it is not above the law,” says Paul. “I will continue to fight against the violations of American’s Constitutional rights through illegal phone surveillance until it is stopped once and for all.”