Rand Paul praises ‘monumental’ NSA ruling

Rand Paul praises ‘monumental’ NSA ruling
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GOP senator to quarantine after coronavirus exposure The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday praised a court ruling that found the NSA's bulk metadata collection program illegal a “monumental decision for all lovers of liberty.”

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“I commend the federal courts for upholding our Constitution and protecting our Fourth Amendment rights,” he said in a statement released by his presidential campaign.

“While this is a step in the right direction, it is now up to the Supreme Court to strike down the NSA’s illegal spying program.”

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the NSA’s program, which culled data from Americans' phone calls, was outside of the authorization set forth by the Patriot Act, the law passed on the heels of the 9/11 attacks that gave broad authority to the intelligence community.

Paul, who is lauded by the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, has pressed for the repeal of the Patriot Act and has offered bills that limit the spying powers of the intelligence community.

Substantial aspects of that law are set to expire by the end of the month, unless Congress acts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to extend the entire bill, while others have offered a variety of ways to tamp down the authority it gives to the federal government.