Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hush, Rand--Please!!

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is among the most eloquent and convincing public advocates of capitalism and a free market in America today. In his short time in the United States Senate he has demonstrated his understanding of and fealty to those politico-economic systems, and of the transcendent importance and inviolability of individual rights.

He is not, however, an attorney--let alone a constitutional lawyer.

Yet, over this past weekend Senator Paul announced on Fox News (and probably elsewhere) that he was making good on his recent threat to sue "the government," President Obama, and/or the NSA, in a "class action" aimed at "enforcing the Fourth Amendment." He said his co-plaintiffs could include "everyone in America who owns a cell phone."

Legally/constitutionally, this is beyond ludicrous. Among other things..............

No judge (not even one not in his or her right mind) would ever certify such a "class." If a judge did, the certification would not survive appellate scrutiny.

Under current Supreme Court precedent, there is as yet no one with "standing to sue." Nor is it likely there ever will be.

The Senator has noticeably failed to identify the legal/constitutional theory upon which his "class action" will rest--doubtless because there isn't one.

And any such lawsuit, which threatened to open the NSA's "sources and methods" would be quickly shut down on national security grounds.

In his announcement, Mr. Paul enthused about a dream team of constitutional lawyers he's putting together for his proposed mega-class action, including the recent candidate for governor of Virginia. If the Dreamers have already signed on, they're going to regret being associated with such a pie-in-the sky, frivolous enterprise. If they haven't, they would be well advised not to.

Apart from ethical considerations, they don't want to be accused of what Rand Paul is probably guilty: "Grandstanding," defined by the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English "an action that is intended to make people notice and admire you."