Monday, August 29, 2011

Five Reasons Why Ron Paul Should NEVER Become President


[NOTE: I have published a new Ron Paul article on Huffington Post: Dear Washington Post: Ron Paul Is NOT a Champion of Civil Liberty]


[Related post: Ron Paul Supporters: Fighting Mad!]

Fans of Representative Ron Paul have recently begun to criticize the media. Paul's supporters believe that the media has unfairly neglected his perpetual bid to receive the presidential nomination for the Republican Party.

Perhaps Paul's supporters should reconsider their criticism of the media. For, if Paul actually received substantial scrutiny, his ideas would undoubtedly frighten most voters.

Paul is charismatic. He also comes across as a straight shooter. Some of his ideas -- like his opposition to militarism and the War on Drugs -- appeal to many voters, including liberals. His arguments about lower government spending and taxation sound good to folks who worry about budget deficits.

Paul's arguments, however, often lack an empirical basis. History has already demonstrated that many of Paul's proposed solutions will never work. Thus, while some of Paul's ideas sound solid in the abstract, they crumble once they are subjected to widely accepted theories about government and society.

Because Paul's ideas are faulty and dangerous, he would make a terrible president. Here are five reasons why Paul should never become president.

1. Paul would restrict abortion based on anecdotal "evidence," rather than science.
Ron Paul is pro-life. He says that he developed his views on abortion during his practice as an OB/GYN. Paul's official website states that: "[D]uring his years in medicine, never once did [Paul] find an abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman." Paul's statement, however, is troubling for two reasons.

First, medical science -- as opposed to Paul's anecdotal "evidence" -- proves that abortions are sometimes necessary to protect the life of the mother. Second, Paul's statement also contradicts the constitutional test articulated by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and many subsequent decisions. According to established Court doctrine, states generally must make abortion available to protect the life and health of the mother. Even if Paul never witnessed a scenario where a woman needed a life-saving abortion, it is not difficult to imagine a situation where a woman needed an abortion to preserve her health.

Furthermore, conservatives have been trying to eliminate the health exception, which they believe amounts to "abortion on demand." According to the Supreme Court, however, a health condition means a psychological or physical condition which the doctor and patient decide warrants an abortion. While many Republicans want to limit abortion to life-saving procedures, Paul believes even this extreme exception is unnecessary based on anecdotes.

2. Paul has dreadful views regarding personal liberty and fundamental rights
Because Paul opposes abortion and everything done by the federal government (except the payment of his salary), he has proposed a bill called the "We the People Act." This bill, if passed, would prohibit federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from deciding whether state or local laws violate the "the right of privacy, including issues of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction. . .or. . .the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation where based upon equal protection of the laws."

Essentially, Paul wants to remove federal courts from the business of deciding whether state laws violate the federal constitution! Contrary to Paul's vision of government, the Constitution secures certain rights enforceable against the national government and states. The Supreme Court has an important role in protecting those rights against invasion.

In the context of fundamental rights, Paul, however, wants to transfer this important federal judicial role to state courts exclusively. Undoubtedly, many state courts would sharply curtail liberties currently recognized by the Supreme Court. Furthermore, this proposal would produce a system where the substance of federal rights varied state-by-state.

In addition Paul wants to "repeal" Roe v. Wade. Since Roe is a judicial opinion, rather than a statute, he really wants a constitutional amendment reversing the ruling. Regardless, Paul's horrific proposals would endanger several personal liberties secured by the Constitution, including the right to terminate a pregnancy.

3. Paul would threaten the independence of the federal judiciary.
Paul's proposals show a striking disregard for the independence of federal courts. Although public opinion and the actions of the political branches influence court decisions, the courts do not operate as representatives of the electorate. Instead, the Framers envisioned a court system that would operate as a check against unlawful action by the government.

Paul, however, would remove a lot of substantive issues from the jurisdiction of the courts (see above). The We the People Act, which Paul has proposed, would also prevent the federal courts from "issuing any ruling that appropriates or expends money [or] imposes taxes. . . ." Supreme Court precedent, however, already prohibits courts from imposing taxes or expending money of the states. So Paul's proposal is unnecessary.

But Paul wants more than this. He also wants to prohibit any court ruling that "otherwise interferes with the legislative functions or administrative discretion of the states." This sweeping passage would virtually negate judicial enforcement of federal law -- including the Constitution (not to worry - this is what makes the proposal unconstitutional).

If a state passes a statute that mandated racial segregation in its public schools, a decision by the Supreme Court that enjoined enforcement of that law would interfere with the "legislative" and "administrative" function of the state. It does not take much analysis to discover the danger in this proposal.

4. Paul wants to repeal historic legislation that was responsible for curtailing racial and sex discrimination in the workplace and for prohibiting racial discrimination in places of public accommodation.
Ron Paul opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The legislation prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Paul believes that the legislation violates the Constitution. Specifically, he argues that Congress lacks the power to pass the law and that the law violates the rights of employers.

The Supreme Court disagrees with Paul; so does the public. Americans have decided that they want a society in which employers cannot use race and sex as a basis for exclusion. Contrary to Paul's assertion, this vision is absolutely consistent with the Constitution, via both the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment.

Furthermore, Paul is simply rehashing the same arguments that Dixiecrats made as they struggled to maintain Jim Crow and white supremacy. People who lack knowledge of history might find Paul's statements about freedom to contract and association appealing, but they are simply a contemporary version of arguments that prevented women and persons of color from having economic opportunities. Paul would seek to reverse over five decades of social progress.

History proves that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was instrumental in achieving racial integration in southern schools. Until that act was passed, only about 1% of southern blacks went to school with whites -- despite the fact that the Supreme Court had decided Brown v. Board of Education ten years earlier. The legislation, however, tied federal funding for schools to antidiscrimination principles. The southern states sluggishly chose to integrate, rather than lose vital federal education assistance.

On the one hand, Paul opposes federal court enforcement of constitutional rights. At the same time, however, he opposes congressional remedies for racial and sex discrimination and enforcement of equal protection. Paul essentially wants to turn racial and gender equality over to the whims of the private sector and states. His ideas regarding civil rights are unsound, and they would undermine the nation's unfinished project of social justice.

5. Paul wants to erode the power of voters by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment.
Over the course of history, the American people have amended the Constitution to provide greater power to voters and to enhance democratic participation. The Fifteenth Amendment allows people to vote regardless of race (although it took nearly a century to make this a reality). The Nineteenth Amendment allows people to vote regardless of sex. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment allows persons who have reached the age of eighteen to vote. Furthermore, the Seventeenth Amendment allows individual voters of each state to elect US Senators directly. Previously, the Constitution delegated this authority to state legislatures.

Paul and many other conservatives want to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment. Although their arguments are not entirely coherent, most conservatives in this camp claim that repealing the Seventeenth Amendment would help protect the states against the national government. Others blame the growth of the national government on the inability of state legislatures to elect senators.

This position is flawed for several reasons. First, the Seventeenth Amendment is an important tool of individual liberty and democracy. Repealing it would contradict important values of American political life.

Second, the connection between the Seventeenth Amendment and growth of the federal government is sheer speculation; it is also incorrect. The government has grown because voters have decided that they need the government to deliver important services that states alone cannot secure.

Furthermore, most of the spending programs that Congress creates for the nation are voluntary. If states do not want to comply with federal regulations tied to spending programs, they can refuse the money. But state lawmakers do not want to anger voters by depriving them of important benefits, like school funding, healthcare, and safe roads.

Repealing the Seventeenth Amendment would undo a major element of America's move toward democracy. For this reason alone, Paul is unfit for president.

Final Thought
I applaud the efforts of Paul's fans to attract media attention for the candidate they support. This attention could lead to greater awareness of Paul's views among the electorate. If people actually hear the policies that Paul supports along with critical analysis, they will undoubtedly disapprove of his candidacy.

Please note: There are so many other reasons why Paul would make a terrible president. I hope to explore those issues in a future blog.

UPDATE:
I changed the first point (regarding abortion) to correct my inadvertent description of Paul as "pro-choice." I also made other stylistic changes. I regret any inconvenience.

36 comments:

James said...

Under #1, you say "Ron Paul is pro-choice". He's pro-life though.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

James - that was an accident. I have change it. Thanks. I also added some more material to the first point. So, read it again if you like.

La Libertine said...

The libertarian objection to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the breaking point for me and a former friend who is a libertarian. Of course, he swears up and down that he's not a racist but somehow in his convoluted mind claimed that the Civil Rights Act makes it difficult for men to fight rape charges.

Yes. My jaw is still on the ground.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

La Libertine: there is absolutely no connection between the '64 legislation and rape. What an odd comment.

La Libertine said...

I know and I couldn't even control my anger and disbelief enough to ask him where the hell he got that idea. But I've noticed this tendency to blame civil/women's/human rights with "oppression" a lot with far too many libertarians. All the arguments eventually boil down to the racist and sexist idea that anyone who isn't a white male is now the oppressor and that equality will only be had when all others get "back in their place".

Nell said...

Ron Paul is not pro-life. He is anti-choice. He denies women bodily autonomy and the full moral agency of their humanity.

Darren, while I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, your remarks on abortion law might leave a mistaken impression on the uninformed. Roe v. Wade (and subsequent case law) guarantees the right to abortion not only to protect the life and health of the pregnant woman. Pre-viability, abortion rights are guaranteed without any need to prove risk to a woman's life or health. States may impose restrictions on access as long as those restrictions do not impose an "undue burden." Of course, the forced-birthers have been extraordinarily successful in imposing those restrictions (e.g. waiting periods, mandatory ultra-sounds, required counseling by non-medical religious counselors), many of which have been upheld by the courts while others have yet to be challenged.

Even in my liberal state, the law requires parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion. Much of my pro-bono work has been representing young pregnant girls in judicial by-pass hearings. Some of their stories are heart-wrenching, yet Ron Paul and his ilk would require these girls to incubate the offspring of their own rapists.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Yes, Nell, you obviously state the law correctly. I didn't mean to give that impression, and I also didn't want to go into too much caselaw, because people barely hold on to the political analysis. I think we, agree, however, his views on privacy and the courts are horrific.

Bing said...

I want to reply to each "point" in turn:

1. Ron Paul is pro-Constitution, not "pro-choice" or "pro-life". Read the first chapter of his latest book, Liberty Defined, to see that even he considers those terms misnomers. If murder can be a state law, why can't abortion? It doesn't take a degree in constitutional law to see this as nonsense.

2. For personal liberties, Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate worth voting for. Who else would end the drug war (which has imprisoned more minorities than slavery did)? Obama promised to stop committing raids on marijuana users, but quickly broke that promise. What personal liberties do you have if you cannot decide what to put into your own body? Even when they tried to ban alcohol, at least they did it through constitutional amendment. Why are they able to ignore the process now?

For #3 you refer to the constitution -- why do you ignore it everywhere else then? I'll admit Ron's bill gives me pause here, but certainly not enough to dismiss him. That said: why is the constitution suddenly relevant here, but no where else?

To #4: The Civil Rights Act is well intentioned, but at what cost? It prohibits private business owners from denying anyone service for any reason. If a neo-Nazi, in full garb, walked into a synagogue, or Jewish deli, he would be told to leave. The Civil Rights Act infringes upon a business owner's right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. Does this mean people can act poorly, given the freedom too? Of course! Does that mean it's OK to revoke that freedom? Absolutely not! That's the difference.

#5: Ron has made this claim once or twice, and given the quality of senators the public elects, I don't blame him. Perhaps our constitution was written the way it was because it predicted the problems we face today: politicians pandering to the general public in order to get elected, rather than actually doing what is in the best interests of their state and country.

Bing said...

Finally, a few general points:

A) Ron Paul has said many times over that he doesn't want to be dictator-in-chief. He doesn't intend to try to overturn any amendments, laws or rulings with his whim alone. That alone makes him a better choice than any candidate out there, given that Obama has started an unconstitutional war, and no other republican candidate has supported the immediate ending of our current fiascoes (Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc.) as Ron Paul does.

B) Ron Paul is the only candidate to vote against increasing congressional pay every time, and to opt out of the government pension program because he considers it immoral. You can attack him for his views that we should end the wars (though I don't know why any sane person would), but to suggest he is selfish by putting, in bold "except the payment of his salary" is absurd.

C) Ron is the only candidate whose voting record supports the words coming out of his mouth. Obama promised plenty, but folded completely upon taking office. Not just on things he "couldn't" do because of congress, but things like getting out of Iraq in 16 months, or not letting a president take multilateral action against another country without the approval of congress. Nor Rick Perry, who claims to be anti-national-healthcare who wrote Hillary in 1993 to thank her for her work on the issue, or who forced immunitization upon women in his state of Texas.

I am appalled at how one-sided your 5 points are. Five "larger" points could easily be applied to everyone else running, yet instead you've focused on Ron Paul alone. Your first point wasn't even researched well enough to be correct, even with the intended spin, prior to your posting; how could anyone except any better of the remaining 4?

Please: if you're going to write about The Good Doctor, at least make sure you understand his positions, rather than the 10 second sound bites you may have heard. They're actually well reasoned, you'll find.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Bing: I will respond in-kind.

1. Paul is antichoice and pro-life. Those words have political meaning. States can abolish murder because there are no constitutional rights involved. The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution extends to women a right to terminate a pregnancy. Therefore, states do not have complete discretion on this subject.

2. Ron Paul's stance on individual liberty is contradictory as my commentary has already revealed. Although he claims to support individual liberty, he wants to deprive federal courts of the authority to review state laws that potentially infringe the very same constitutional freedoms that he claims to support (minus abortion). The immediate result would be that many states would criminalize civil liberties. Only a few years ago, Texas -- Paul's home state -- had a law criminalizing same-sex sodomy. It took a Supreme Court ruling to invalidate that law. Under Paul's policies, the Supreme Court could not touch that law. Instead, people in Texas would have to wait for Texas to do so -- but they had repeatedly declined to do so for discriminatory reasons. Paul wants to send the defense of civil liberty to states that have horrific records on the subject. This is not what a champion of civil liberty should do.

Also, the "imprisoned more black people than slavery" comment is almost laughable due to its remarkable lack of reasoning. It sounds like the statement Bachmann signed which said black marriages were better during slavery. Mass incarceration is a terrible thing -- but it is not slavery.

Furthermore, most drug crimes are prosecuted by states. But Paul wants states to have free reign over civil liberties. His own stance on national policy will mean that states will continue to incarcerate individuals excessively.

3. I did not ignore the Constitution at all. I am not sure what you mean, but everyone of my points involves some analysis of constitutional law. Perhaps you should read the blog again.

4. You clearly did not read the blog post carefully. The '64 legislation does not prohibit businesses from denying service to anyone for "any reason." That is simply a lie. They cannot do so on the basis of race. It does not protect hate speech or threatening conduct. So your Neo-Nazi hypo is quite misplaced.

Also -- you do not have knowledge of constitutional law - but there is no constitutional right to "contract." So, business owners cannot claim that the Civil Rights Act violates their right to contract. There is a right of "association," which is why the legislation only applies to places of "public" accommodation -- businesses that offer services to the public at large. It does not apply to intimate groups.

5. Democracy allows the people to choose. Why on Earth would state legislatures do a better job than individual voters? Why does this matter in the first place? Also, Paul justifies this position on state sovereignty grounds -- not because he believes that state legislatures would do a better job.

PS: I thought you cared about "minorities." But your arguments on the Civil Rights Act and democracy show a shocking disregard to the history of racial subordination in this country.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Bing: I have responded in bold to your second post.


A) Ron Paul has said many times over that he doesn't want to be dictator-in-chief. He doesn't intend to try to overturn any amendments, laws or rulings with his whim alone.

Great. Only Congress can overturn a statute, and it takes 3/4 of the states to repeal a part of the Constitution. But if Paul were to encourage the things he advocates on his website, this would be dangerous and unsound.

B) Ron Paul is the only candidate to vote against increasing congressional pay every time, and to opt out of the government pension program because he considers it immoral. You can attack him for his views that we should end the wars (though I don't know why any sane person would).....

I did not attack Paul for being antiwar. I will note, however, that he voted for the war in Afghanistan. Also, opting out of a pension is not the same as opting out of a salary.

C) Ron is the only candidate whose voting record supports the words coming out of his mouth. Obama promised plenty, but folded completely upon taking office.

If you read my blog, you will find that I have criticized Obama extensively. I have also argued that his record differs from his campaign. BUT that is irrelevant to Paul's weaknesses. Voting consistently for bad policy would not make Paul a good president.

I am appalled at how one-sided your 5 points are.

I am appalled that you are appalled. I cited to Paul's own websites for his radical positions. I was remarkably calm in the article. His ideas about the constitution are silly and harmful.

Five "larger" points could easily be applied to everyone else running, yet instead you've focused on Ron Paul alone.

Actually, if you read my blog, I wrote on Perry first. In fact, the anti-Perry article is right below the Paul article! In your zeal to support your candidate, you have overlooked many important dimensions to my arguments.

Your first point wasn't even researched well enough to be correct, even with the intended spin, prior to your posting;...

Nothing you have written undermines the validity of my first point. I took the information from Paul's campaign site. Unless he lied on that site, then I am correct.

Please: if you're going to write about The Good Doctor, at least make sure you understand his positions, rather than the 10 second sound bites you may have heard.

You have not revealed any inaccuracies with respect to my analysis of Paul.

Also, I do not write soundbites. This article is longer than most of the critiques of Paul I have seen. By contrast, Paul's public documents are riddled with soundbites.

Finally -- I have not heard much criticism about Paul at all. So, my ideas are my own.

Thanks for commenting.

Approximation Prophet said...

Great critique, "the good doctor," is a thoroughly awful GLibertarian, who would love to repeal the entire 1900's.

I kinda feel though that 2, 3, and 4 could be combined together with subheadings.

His most dangerous idea, IMO, that actually gets a good bit of traction with the righty crowds is abolition of our fiat money system.

If the country were to return to the gold standard, or any other commodity based system, it would simply be impossible to survive in the global economy, it would make all our debts and deficits that much worse, growth would flatline, and the public would experience wild currency fluctuations and a massive credit crunch.

You have to think he knows this would destroy the economy of the U.S., but I think he advocates it because its the quickest way to reduce us to his Mad Maxian (a word?) version of glibertarian paradise where Galtian producers like him would lord over us parasites and succeed because he was ordained by god to do so.

Ed said...

You wrote: "History has already demonstrated that many of Paul's proposed solutions will never work."

Actually, history has already demonstrated that centralized "government" will never work so any discussion on which politician should or should not be elected is a waste of time.

Kelly E. Griffin said...

Darren

now we've seen your criticism, and you've stated your personal opinions of Ron Paul and why you wouldn't vote for him, and in hopes of convincing others not to support him either.

Kudos to you. I personally don't agree with your assessment, but feel no debate will change yours or my mind on the subject.

As youv'e said you wrote an article on Rick Perry as well, and frankly I could possibly never vote for him anyways, so no point in reading further there.

Maybe you could write a critique on who you are supporting and why you would vote for them, and what exactly would make them a good presidential choice. If it's the current CIC, commander in chief of course then explain what would be different in a 2nd term.

Pleae Enlighten us,
Kelly E. Griffin

Kelly E. Griffin said...

Cause actually Darren, anythings possible if the Republicans don't endorse Paul. Last election I voted for a Black Woman if you recall who that was. Not just because she was Black, or that she ran for the Green Party, nor the fact she was a previous Democratic Congressperson, or because she was a woman for that matter.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hello, A.P. Thanks for commenting. I wanted to include Paul's fiscal policy, but decided the post would become too long. Stay tuned!

Ed: we have a mixed governmental system. Look at separation of powers and federalism. Any argument that we don't is absolutely foolish. Any argument that states should run interstate commerce is equally foolish. The thought that states should dictate the content of constitutional liberties is frightening.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Kelly - thanks for posting. I have written extensively on Obama. There is a search function at the top of the blog. Or you can use Google. I do not like Paul; I will probably examine other candidates on the GOP side. I will also probably do more analysis of Obama once he gets into full campaign mode.

Ed said...

Darren, what you have is a bunch of sociopaths hanging out at the so-called capital using the threat of lethal violence to force the masses within a specific territory to comply to their whims.

In a so-called state you have a bunch of sociopaths hanging out at the so-called capital using the threat of lethal violence to force the masses within a specific territory to comply to their whims.

That type of behaviour is immoral and history shows, in the end, that it does not work.

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Tim said...

For your first reason: Paul would restrict abortion based on anecdotal "evidence," rather than science. From reading his books and listening to his speeches, the most he has brought up about abortion is that he doesn't understand how the fetus could be protected from all others (save the mother) under law when it is unborn, but the mother can have the fetus terminated lawfully, and that if the mother has a newborn terminated shortly after birth, only then is it a crime. I think these are fair points to bring up. Our definition of life, what is a law-protected human being and when it is permissable to terminate it is too shady.

I don't know who put "[D]uring his years in medicine, never once did [Paul] find an abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman" on his website, but Paul himself said he's had to remove fetuses that were developing in the fallopian tubes of women when explaining when it would be most preferable to use a fetus for stem-cell research. Perhaps he didn't consider it an abortion? Not sure.

As for your second reason. "Paul has dreadful views regarding personal liberty and fundamenta­l rights." The 10th amendment supports his reasoning in that the federal government has no authority in telling citizens or the states what to do unless it says so in the constitution.

For your third reason: "Paul would threaten the independen­ce of the federal judiciary." The federal judiciary, as any judiciary at any other level doesn't enforce law; it interprets laws enacted by legislatur­es.

For your fourth reason: "Paul wants to repeal historic legislatio­n that was responsibl­e for curtailing racial and sex discrimina­tion in the workplace and for prohibitin­g racial discrimina­tion in places of public accommodat­ion."

Wrong, he just said he wouldn't have voted for it had he been in office. He completely supported removing the Jim Crow laws, just not the laws that tell businesses that they can only discriminate who they hire as long as it's not about the "race" and gender of the person. We don't need laws in order to not be racist to each other. That's the idea that this monolithic totalitarian government is going to take care of us and force us to be better people and make better choices. It's absurd. Regardless, any business that discriminated against people in such a way would go out of business over night. I know I wouldn't spend my money there, and I know a lot of others that wouldn't either.

As far as the 17th amendment goes, The 17th amendment gives us mob rule, and the ability to corrupt government to a greater degree.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Tim: I respond to your comments below in bold. Note – it took two posts (length restriction):

From reading his books and listening to his speeches, the most he has brought up about abortion is that he doesn't understand how the fetus could be protected from all others (save the mother) under law when it is unborn......

Those are great questions to debate. I talk about them with my students in constitutional law all the time. These questions, however, do not make abortion a crime. Harming a fetus is a crime in some states, but it is not even first-degree murder (even if premeditated). Honestly, I think those cases should be treated as batteries against the mother. It is her body that was injured. Some states have created separate crimes for fetuses only because they want to chip away at Roe v Wade.

I don't know who put "[D]uring his years in medicine, never once did [Paul] find an abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman" on his website.....

If life begins at conception, then removing a developing fetus or zygote from a woman is murder. And I cannot even respond to the "I don't know who put this on his website" language. It is HIS website. This is where people go for information about him. On something as divisive as abortion, I assume these are his views!

As for your second reason. "Paul has dreadful views regarding personal liberty and fundamenta­l rights." The 10th amendment supports his reasoning in that the federal government has no authority in telling citizens or the states what to do unless it says so in the constitution.

People who support Paul seemingly have never read or do not understand the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Here's a great passage to consider: "No State shall .... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Note the words "liberty," "due process," "equal protection," etc. The Constitution says that NO STATE can deny these constitutional rights. The Supreme Court gets to interpret the meaning of the Constitution -- See Article III. States cannot trump the court's ruling on Constitutional matters.

If abortion is a "liberty" interest under the Fourteenth Amendment -- which the Court has said it is -- then NO STATE can deny this interest. Paul, however, wants states to decide the matter completely. And some states would inevitably ban abortion if given the chance to do so. Thus, Paul's positions threaten constitutional liberty.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

For your third reason: "Paul would threaten the independen­ce of the federal judiciary." The federal judiciary, as any judiciary at any other level doesn't enforce law; it interprets laws enacted by legislatur­es.

The federal courts interpret the meaning of the constitution (and treaties and statutes). Again -- See article III. The Court's interpretation of the Constitution is binding upon states and the federal government. The executive branch enforces the law -- so it enforces judicial rulings too!

For your fourth reason....

Wrong, he just said he wouldn't have voted for it had he been in office. He completely supported removing the Jim Crow laws, just not the laws that tell businesses that they can only discriminate who they hire as long as it's not about the "race" and gender of the person. We don't need laws in order to not be racist to each other. That's the idea that this monolithic totalitarian government is going to take care of us and force us to be better people and make better choices.


Apparently, you don't know what Jim Crow involved. It was a private and governmental system of racial oppression. Regardless of whether Paul would seek to repeal the legislation -- he definitely opposes it. And, yes, without the laws, racial progress would not have occurred in this country. After the laws were passed, many women and persons of color finally were able to get jobs in American businesses. That was a result, in part, of the law. The fact that you deny the role of law is historically inaccurate and disturbing.


Also, the notion that this law is "totalitarian" is a bankrupt concept. It is absolutely laughable to say this. First, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the legality of the legislation. Second, the Constitution explicitly gives congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce -- so Congress has the power to regulate business practices of PRIVATE COMPANIES. Unless Paul wants to amend the Constitution and repeal the Commerce Clause, then his arguments are completely without merit.

Finally, if we don't need the law to prevent discrimination, then why seek to repeal the legislation. Seemingly, it would be a nonissue.



As far as the 17th amendment goes, The 17th amendment gives us mob rule, and the ability to corrupt government to a greater degree.

That's a bizarre statement. Are you saying that local governments are not corrupt? You must live in a fantasy land. Government isn't corrupt because of voters. People do corrupt thing because of monetary interests. Those same interests operate at the state level -- with even greater force. For the most part, state campaign finance and lobbying restrictions are far more relaxed than at the federal level. So, I just don't buy this argument. Regardless, if directly electing persons to the Senate leads to "mob rule" (interesting concept, given bicameralism and equal representation among all states), then you could say the same about the House and the President -- and even state legislatures !!!!!

Thanks for responding. Even though I disagree -- this is a far more honest response -- than "your argument is a complete distortion." ONce you actually take the time to rebut the argument, you actually see that it doesn't distort what Paul has said. You simply agree with his position, regardless of my views. that's fine. Everyone has to decide for himself or herself.

Tim said...

My point in saying I didn't know who put that on his website was because it was contradictory to what I've heard come out of his own mouth. Unless he did he not consider the removal of the fetus from a fallopian tube an abortion. If not, then what does he? I do know he's strongly in favor of the use of "plan B" type methods.

Overall, his stance on abortion is that no one (at least not many) is alright with extremely late-term abortions, so he'd want to find some kind of common ground. He'd leave it to the states and they would do different things. Personally I'm for fetus termination before 15 weeks, before it would develop a consciousness. I don't consider it an "abortion" of a human being. I would be strongly opposed to abortion after this period.

I doubt any state would end up actually banning all abortion. What state would, Utah?

A private and governmental "system of racial oppression"? That's painting with a broad brush. The Jim Crow laws were "laws". There are no private "laws". Multiple people getting together and saying they're going to agree to not sell their shoelaces to black people is not a "law", and should not be altered by the government. It is the government attempting to be everyone's daddy.

You might not believe me, but in this day in age, it would be extremely harmful for any business to refuse to cater to the trade of minorities. Besides losing money by purposely only selling to 70% of the population, they'd turn away millions of anti-racism white people by doing so.

What does the regulation of interstate commerce have to do with telling private companies what they can and cannot consider when hiring?

Like I said before, he's not seeking to repeal the legislation, he just wouldn't have voted for it.

I know local government is corrupt, but better that than a corrupt federal government. You'd have to move to another country, rather than another city.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

My point in saying I didn't know who put that on his website was because it was contradictory to what I've heard come out of his own mouth.

Maybe he is contradicting himself. This wouldn't be the first time for him or any other politician.

Unless he did he not consider the removal of the fetus from a fallopian tube an abortion. If not, then what does he?

If he believes the fetus is a person - then it is a killing of a person, right? Perhaps he sees no problem because death is inevitable - but death is certain for severely deformed fetuses as well.

Overall, his stance on abortion is that no one (at least not many) is alright with extremely late-term abortions, so he'd want to find some kind of common ground. He'd leave it to the states and they would do different things.

the current status of the law, however, is the pre-viability, states cannot impose an "undue" burden in the path of a woman seeking an abortion, and after viability, abortion must remain legal where it is necessary to preserve the mother's life OR health. There are undoubtedly states that would strike the health exception or that would impose severe burdens prior to viability. That is an inevitable consequence of leaving this present constitutional right to the states.

I doubt any state would end up actually banning all abortion. What state would, Utah?

South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, and other states are staunchly antiabortion. Read my comments above -- even if they did not ban it altogether, they could narrow the right from what the Supreme Court has determined that the Constitution protects. So, this would change the right. Do you know of any other constitutional rights that vary from state to state? I'm not talking about state constitutional rights -- but the US constitution.

A private and governmental "system of racial oppression"? That's painting with a broad brush. The Jim Crow laws were "laws". There are no private "laws".

The KKK was a private group too. Your point lacks historical merit. Slaveowners were private citizens asserting private property rights. Racial oppression was caused by the private sector and the government. Period. The fallacy in your argument is your assumption that only laws can oppress. That's untrue.
You might not believe me, but in this day in age, it would be extremely harmful for any business to refuse to cater to the trade of minorities.

So why get rid of the law? Why mention it at all? If no one does this anymore, it seems like a moot point.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

What does the regulation of interstate commerce have to do with telling private companies what they can and cannot consider when hiring?

The same thing it does when Congress lists what type of safety standards companies must have. the same thing it does when Congress says what rules airplanes must follow -- like no smoking! The same thing it means when Congress says what types of vehicles can travel on interstate roads. The same thing it means when Congress sets a minimum wage and maximum work hours per week.

Consider this -- blacks would travel from state to state -- like all travelers, and get to their destination with no place to stay. that had a horrible impact on interstate commerce. Congress can regulate this because it is either a part of interstate commerce itself or because it substantially affects interstate commerce. Google Ollie's BBQ and Google Heart of Atlanta Motel. Read up! The information is there for you to see. Don't just give a kneejerk reaction.


I know local government is corrupt, but better that than a corrupt federal government. You'd have to move to another country, rather than another city.

Yeah - like people can afford to move out of their state. How many jobs are available for people to just pick up and move (it's state legislature, not city). Also, that state legislatures are even more corrupt (potentially) means that the persons they pick for the Senate may not represent the interests of the people. Instead, they will be the ones who pay off lawmakers. Honestly, how can Paul not see this with all of his anticorruption rhetoric?

sus said...

Darren, thank you for your reasoned responses to the criticisms of your original post. I'll keep them in mind as I encounter Paul supporters on other sites.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Sus: you're welcome. I believe in education and reasoned debate. Too bad our media doesn't sponsor enough of it.

Kelly E. Griffin said...

Darren, having read a few of you posts now, and seeing that you do take aim at both sides on the issues of your concern. I guess fair is as fair can be.

It was quite obvious by the title of your blog that you weren't a Paul supporter.

It is also obvious your an Obama supporter, and my being a Paul supporter I doubt much can be said that will sway either of us to change our minds.

I'm not sure if your a party supporter or not, however I am not. I've found nothing in my lifetime (50+ years), to convince me there is any difference between them besides rhetoric. It's all in the eyes of the beholder, so just my preception.

Reading through some more responses, I noticed you stated you teach constitutional law, and made reference to the 14th Amendment. So being the disenfranchised voter I am, maybe you can explain a portion of the
14th Amendment to me?

2nd section...
http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=43&page=transcript

"Section 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

The part that concerns me is when it comes to the part about the right to vote?

"But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof,..."

The above is pretty straight forward in that it pretty much covers all Federal and State elections, but why is it DENIED immediately following?

"is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

Now obviously the abridged covers the amendments allowing everyone over the age of 18 who's elegible to vote, but then it states EXCEPT FOR PARTICIPATION IN REBELLION OR OTHER CRIME?

So the right to vote is denied, except to those who've participated in rebellion or other crime?

So exactly what rebellion or crime did we participate in that allows to vote?

I coped it directly from the National Archives website in the link posted above. It confounds me, and would appreciate your opinion from a constitutional standpoint.

Regards,
Kelly

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

I am not sure why you think the title of my blog -- "Dissenting Justice" -- means I'm not a Paul supporter. Are you talking about the title of this essay? Well, I came to Paul with no position at all. I read his webpage and some other analysis and formed my own opinion. I don't have cable, and I don't watch tv. I get all of my info from reading constantly - all types of news sources, both liberal and conservative.

If you think it is obvious that I'm an Obama supporter - you really haven't read much of my blog. Try the article on the left side: "Yes - I have criticized liberals and defended conservatives." I am getting really tired of the stereotypes from Paul's supporters.

Also -- the only reason I am registered to any party in DC is because the city has closed primaries. And for local elections, the primary winner is effectively the winner of the race.

It's getting late, but I will address your question. Basically, the original constitution allowed the slaveholding states to count slave populations towards the number of people they had in the house of representatives. Remember the House is based on population of the state. Slaves were counted as 3/5 people. This was a major problem because slaves could not vote -- or do anything else involving liberty. But slave states had extra representation in Congress because of the 3/5ths clause.

The Fourteenth Amendment, however, seeks to correct that. So, the text you quoted punishes Southern states that refused to allow blacks to vote. there representation in congress would be reduced proportionally. but this didn't include people outside of the description -- men, 21 or over, who weren't in the rebellion or who weren't felons, etc.

Since that time, we have amended the Constitution to allow women and persons over 18 to vote. Also, we have amended it to allow people in the states to elect Senators -- rather than state lawmakers. I think this is great for the country. Paul wants to reverse the change in senate elections.

Tim said...

Sorry for the late reply. Been busy with work and school.

I don't believe he's contradicting himself. I re-listened to his speech (that I mentioned before) which included the part about removing a fetus from a woman's fallopian tube to use for stem cell research. The fetus was apparently already dead, and that was why he did not consider it an abortion.

He was quoted on his website as saying he's never been in the situation of needing to perform an abortion to save the life of the mother, because it's true, he never has. He's not saying that it never happens, he's simply making a point of how relatively rare the situation actually is. Even after having delivered 4000 babies. That being said, he's not against abortion where the life of the mother is at stake, he's just saying how much the hypothetical is blown out of proportion.

You have to ask yourself where exactly life begins. Is it at conception? Is it at birth? Or sometime in between? What is the exact time? Someone who kills a pregnant woman is charged with two murders. Whether she is 9 months pregnant or 9 days. The definition of what a life is and the laws defining what is a human life and what isn't makes me uneasy. There should at least be some kind of consistency.

As for the laws against racial discrimination, I'm actually fine with the Civil Rights Act. I don't agree with the idea that the government has the authority to tell private businesses what they can consider when hiring, but it did do much more good than bad overall. But you can't equate this to the KKK being a private organization. No, I don't think the government can tell anyone what or where or who they can spend their money on, even the KKK.

I object to that idea not only because it oversteps the authority of the government, but because it comes off as another lame attempt to wage war against a concept or inanimate object. You can't have a "War on Racism" anymore than you can have "War on Terror" or a "War on Drugs". Some man in France was just convicted of "antisemitism". How ridiculous is that???

But anyway, again, Ron Paul said he would not repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He's stated many times that he applauds the civil rights movement in increasing equality. He just replied that he would not have voted for the Act. He usually does vote no unless the law is completely authorized by the constitution and he thinks the law is as good as it can get, and he didn't think it is as good as it could have been revised to.

I respect your differences in opinion, I just wanted to make those two points in particular that I felt were being misrepresented (probably because I'm used to it from the media), but I don't think you're being disingenuous as I previously thought.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Tim: As I said in my post, the legal standard requires that after viability, abortion must be available to preserve the mother's life AND health. So, whether or not he actually believes it is necessary to protect a woman's life is irrelevant to the legal standard. Also, given the law on this issue -- and Paul's so-called expertise in Constitutional Law, his choice of words is not meaningless.

As for the Civil Rights Act -- I do not care whether he wants to repeal it or not. His position that it violates the rights of whites is ridiculous and has been rejected repeatedly by the Supreme Court. Furthermore, his fans who claim that the Civil Rights Act is irrelevant today do not base this claim on any empirical research. Instead, it is simply their "gut" argument. Well, read the data. I have suggested Ian Ayres several times. I'll do it again. By voting against the Act, Paul would have rested with the Dixiecrats -- for some of the exact same reasons they offered.

Finally, the KKK is private; and it participated in racial oppression. Racial oppression is not simply a product of state action.

trueblues said...

A completely empty article. Your main point being Ron Paul is for states and individual rights while you're against them. He rather individuals, or at most the states to decide what is best for themselves; on the other hand, you want to force your liberal value onto everyone in the United States through federal law. He has his personal believes (he is personally conservative and is honest with it) but he is not going to make everyone in United States obey conservative laws: you can still choose to live your liberal life. That is the message Ron Paul is really trying to bring across -- choice. Anyway, by naming the benefits of one amendment to justify the other amendment is a fallacy in logic -- aka red herring. Like mainstream media, you are not respecting your readers and are treating them like fools by attempting to convince them through broken logic. If this is the best journalists can offer that explains why internet is taking over.

j3llyb1sh said...

"We the People Act." This bill, if passed, would prohibit federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from deciding whether state or local laws violate the "the right of privacy, including issues of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction. . .or. . .the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation where based upon equal protection of the laws." Then you go on to say "Paul's horrific proposals would endanger several personal liberties secured by the Constitution, including the right to terminate a pregnancy". So, gay people are not allowed the same constitutional rights as any other American? That's not right.

J White said...

I think his stance toward removing federal courts from certain cases makes him a far greater threat to liberty than the wildest imaginations of his conspiracy theorist supporters. The man is downright dangerous.

If you go on the Ron Paul blogs, it won't be long before you stumble across some paranoid conspiracy, dangerous anti-scientific nonsense, or hateful idiots pontificating about overthrowing the government. Electing this man would only enable the fringe lunatics.

CERT1FIED said...

I don't care what anybody got to say about Ron Paul his ideas may be crazy but they make a lot of sense. What's the problem? Are yaw scared that he will end the war, bullshit feds, shrink government, and follow the fuckin constitution like they suppose to. Yaw so full of shit, I read everything yaw had to say about Ron Paul and yaw aint convincing me to change my mind. Ron Paul is the most honest man in the presidential race unlike the other political puppets. Im tired of these smooth talking robots that promise change for example punk ass Obama and I regret voting for that fucking imposter and mitt romney aint no different, so yaw rather vote for Romney over Ron Paul???? yaw sound flat out ridicoulus, silly and upsurd... Im done with yaw fakes

CERT1FIED said...

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012

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