Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gary Johnson: Challenging "Stop and Frisk"

These days you cannot actually find a presidential candidate willing to defend American civil liberties, at least not in the two major parties.

Possibly that's why the ACLU lists Libertarian Gary Johnson (two-time governor of New Mexico) as the best presidential candidate for protecting civil liberties.

Here's Johnson on Mayor Bloomberg's Arizona/TSA-like "Stop and Frisk" policy in New York City:

In a statement released in New York, the two-term New Mexico governor said, “Last year, almost 700,000 people on the streets of the city were stopped and subjected to TSA-style invasions of their privacy and fundamental civil liberty.  87% of those people were black or Latino.  But these folks weren’t trying to get on airplanes; they were walking down the street. 
“The America we need to reclaim is a place where you can leave your home and not fear being stopped by the police and patted down because of the way you look." Said Johnson, “I think this stop-and-frisk policy violates the Constitutional protection against ‘unreasonable search.”
“Two years ago, Mayor Bloomberg was one of the most aggressive critics in the country of Arizona’s immigration law – a law many, myself included, considered ill-advised and likely to result in profiling.  At the time, he said that law was “bad for the country” and rhetorically asked, “Who wants to visit the Grand Canyon if you could end up getting hassled by the police?”. 
“He was right about the Arizona law. And if profiling is a problem for Arizona, what about a policy that appears to be resulting in precisely the same thing on the streets of New York?," said Johnson, whose campaign for President will likely qualify for federal campaign matching funds this week.

As I begin to look more closely at Johnson, first examination suggests something really strange:  he's sane.

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