November 30, 2023

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 Dr. Rand Paul Introduces Legislation to Restore and Protect Americans’ Fourth Amendment Rights 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Fourth Amendment Restoration and Protection Act. The bill would ensure Americans cannot be subjected to government surveillance upon the order of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) or Executive Order 12333. While national security requires the ability to gather intelligence on foreign threats, using those authorities to conduct warrantless spying on Americans is an impermissible violation of the rights guaranteed to us by the Fourth Amendment.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted to protect the rights of Americans against the surveillance abuses documented by the Church and Pike Committees. Yet, events over the course of the last several years demonstrate that FISA has failed to prevent a recurrence of abuses that violate constitutionally protected rights. In fact, FISA’s secretive and one-sided process invites the kind of abuse the law was intended to combat. This abuse is almost never remedied because, unlike the open and adversarial process afforded by Article III courts, FISA denies defendants the ability to effectively challenge the validity of surveillance warrants. Dr. Paul’s legislation is a necessary remedy to this dangerously flawed process.

“No secret, unaccountable court should be allowed to authorize spying on American citizens,” said Dr. Paul. “My Fourth Amendment Restoration and Protection Act would exempt Americans from the FISA process and ensure both constitutional rights and national security are protected.”

Specifically, the Fourth Amendment Restoration and Protection Act would:

  • Preserve the ability of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to order surveillance of foreigners and terrorists;
  • Require the government to obtain an order from traditional Article III federal courts to surveil U.S. persons by prohibiting the government from requesting an order from the FISC for surveillance, searches, and seizures relating to U.S. persons;
  • Prohibit the government from conducting information queries of a U.S. person pursuant to section 702 of FISA or Executive Order 12333;
  • Prohibit the government from introducing in evidence any information concerning a United States person acquired or derived from an acquisition under FISA or Executive Order 12333 but preserve the right of the defense to introduce such information as exculpatory evidence; and
  • Ensure that the executive branch cannot violate constitutional rights through executive orders by mandating that statutory authorities and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are the exclusive means by which searches or acquisitions shall take place if the target is a U.S. person.

You can read the Fourth Amendment Restoration and Protection Act HERE.



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