Rand Paul Will Oppose PATRIOT Act Reauthorization In The Senate

Picking up the torch from the 29 Tea Party Republicans who broke with their party and voted against the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act earlier this week, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul released a statement last night that he would oppose reauthorization when it comes up in the Senate:

PAUL: Jefferson wrote that if we had a government of angels, we would need no Constitution to protect us. But men are not always angels, and I for one do not wish to unchain government from the bindings of the Constitution. If we do not protect the First Amendment we cannot protest the First or Second either. […] I intend to oppose extending the expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act in the coming weeks. But more importantly, I want to spark a discussion of who we want to be as a people and as a nation. Are we a nation whose laws that are in place to protect the rights of the people? Or are we willing to give those rights up to more expeditiously capture criminals? […] I think it is about time we in Congress took a serious look at our obligations to stand up for the rights of those we are supposed to represent, rather than casting the politically easy votes.

FILED UNDER: Congress, National Security, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ben says:

    Now we’re talking. I don’t particularly like Paul, and would have felt very conflicted about voting for him, but at least he’s gonna stick to his principles on this one.

  2. Franklin says:


  3. Me Me says:

    Am I missing something?

    Here is the list of “Tea Party Republican” who voted in favor of extending the patriot act.

    Tim Griffin (AR-2), Paul Gosar (AZ-1), Steve Southerland (FL-2), Allen West (FL-22), Sandy Adams (FL-24), Bob Dold (IL-10), Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), Marlin Stutzman (IN-3), Todd Young (IN-9), Jeff Landry (LA-3), Dan Benishek (MI-1), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Michelle Bachmann (MN-6), Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Renee Ellmers (NC-2), Frank Guinta (NH-1), Joe Heck (NV-3), Michael Grimm (NY-13), Steven Chabot (OH-1), Bill Johnson (OH-6), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Jim Renacci (OH-16), Tim Scott (SC-1), Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Trey Gowdy (SC-4), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), Scott DesJarlais (TN-4), Bill Flores (TX-17), H. Morgan Griffith (VA-9), Sean Duffy (WI-7), Reid Ribble (WI-8), David McKinley (WV-1)

    Here are the ones who votes against the extension

    Twenty-six Republicans voted against the Patriot Act extension, but only eight were freshmen – Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), Dave Schweikert (Ariz.) and Rob Woodall (Ga.).

  4. JKR says:

    To MEME – Ron Paul voted against it, he was just not a freshman.

    Doug, you have a typo in your first quote. The first time you say ‘First Amendment’ it should be FOURTH amendment. If we do not defend the FOURTH amendment……

    just fyi.

    Thanks for posting this.

  5. matt says:

    Don’t really agree with Rand Paul on much but this is certainly one thing I’ll give him props for.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Good for him.

  7. TG Chicago says:

    I don’t have a black belt in parliamentary jiu-jitsu. Can Paul put a hold on the reauthorization?