Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ron Paul opposes federal civil rights laws

More on the shameful record of Rep. Paul. In June, Paul was one of only two congressmen to vote against the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act (HR 923), the other being Westmoreland of Georgia.

Here's what the bill calls for (from
Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act - Establishes an Unsolved Crimes Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and an Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Investigative Office in the Civil Rights Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Makes the Chief of the Section (Chief) and the Chief Investigator of the Office responsible for investigating violations of criminal civil rights statutes in which the alleged violation occurred before January 1, 1970 and resulted in death. Requires: (1) consultation with state or local officials regarding venue when there has been a violation of a criminal civil rights statute that is also a violation of a state or local law; and (2) referral to the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division if the subject of the complaint has violated a criminal civil rights statute but the violation does not meet the requirements for the Unsolved Crimes Section. Amends the Crime Control Act of 1990 to authorize staff of an Inspector General to assist the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by conducting reviews of inactive case files to develop recommendations for further investigations and engaging in similar activities.

Paul's reasoning? He doesn't believe that the federal government should be involved in enforcing civil rights laws. In 2004, Rep. Paul was the only member of Congress to vote against commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. (Quote: "Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.") Right. He wants all civil rights laws enforced locally. Sounds familiar somehow. Where have I heard that before? Have you been wondering why the extreme racist right like David Duke, National Vanguard, Stormfront, Hal Turner, Council of Conservative Citizens, etc. are supportive of Rep. Paul? Here's one reason.

Rep. Westmoreland, through a spokesman, said that the Justice Department should be able to pursue the more than 100 outstanding cases at issue with their existing budget. Right.

Final Vote Results for U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call 512

And on the fate of the bill in the Senate: Daily Kos: "Tom Coburn: The Shame of the Senate"

Here's more alleged wisdom from Rep. Paul on civil rights:

"(T)he forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty...The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties."
What this means, for those without the historical background to understand (Paul supporters), is that Ron Paul would essentially undo all federal civil rights law since Brown v. Board of Ed. All the federal court rulings, legislation, programs, rules, enforcement policies, etc. relating to the protection of civil rights. He just doesn't believe that the federal government should get involved.

Ironically, Paul's dream world could not come into being without undoing so much constitutional law as to totally upset the Constitution he's allegedly defending. Of course, there is no danger that this could occur in the real world. The rule of law, stare decisis, and the good will and common sense of the electorate would never allow President Paul (pause for laughter) to succeed in undoing our civil rights laws. But it is an important object lesson in how dangerous a little knowledge is. Paul, in protecting a fictional Constitution of his imagination, would destroy the real Constitution. That would be very dangerous indeed.


Paul also opposed renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.


Anonymous said...

Civil rights laws are at best scaffolding and thus best viewed as temporary. The federal government should be color-blind. Civil rights laws force law enforcement to focus on certain cases to the detrement of other cases. They also run counter to fundamental rights in some cases.

Ron Paul's of people as individuals is the best view for a president.

Adam Holland said...

For your information, civil rights laws literally saved millions of Americans from oppression. All laws are imperfect, all require thoughtful and just execution. Those who find fault with laws and say that this proves we are better off without them are deluded.

Paul, who purports to be the strictest fundamentalist of constitutional interpretation, would essentially undo the entire tradition of federal authority under constitutional law since Brown, maybe since the 14th Amendment. That's like saying you want to preserve the integrity of a building by tearing it down and leaving only the foundation. Why don't you try reading the 14th Amendment and then get back to me?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, go save your Red Amendment...if you knew its true implications you'd be supporting Dr. Paul as well.


adamhollandblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com