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Ron Paul

U.S. Representative from Texas (1976-1977, 1979-1985, 1997-)

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Ron Paul
Image courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives.

ACLU Rating:

      Ron Paul has a 55% rating from the ACLU.

    Pros:

        Criminal Justice:
        • Believes tht the federal government has the authority to prosecute only three crimes: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. Believes that all other federal crime legislation should be revoked.
        Death Penalty:
        • Opposes capital punishment.
        Drug War:
        • Supports the abolition of all federal antidrug legislation.
        • Has personally co-sponsored bills that would legalize medical marijuana and allow the use of industrial-grade hemp.
        First Amendment:
        • Believes that the Federal Communications Commission has no authority to regulate the content of broadcast communications.
            However:
            • Tends to oppose legislation written to secure church-state separation.
        Gun Rights:
        • Strong supporter of the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment.
        Lesbian and Gay Rights:
        • Opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment.
        • Believes that states that choose to recognize same-sex marriage should be allowed to do so without federal interference.
            However:
            • Supports the Defense of Marriage Act, and opposes the extension of federal marriage benefits to include same-sex couples.
            • In 1999, supported an amendment that would have withdrawn federal support for adoptions by unmarried couples.
        War on Terror:
        • Consistent opponent of post-9/11 civil liberties abuses, in virtually every possible context.
        • Voted against the PATRIOT Act.

      Cons:

          Abortion and Birth Control:
          • Opposes Roe v. Wade.
              However:
              • Opposes all federal laws banning or restricting abortion and birth control, believing that these are matters relegated to state control under the Tenth Amendment.
          Immigrants' Rights:
          • Opposes citizenship track for undocumented immigrants.
          • Supports revising the Constitution to revoke the citizenship of infants born in the United States to undocumented parents.
          Race and Equal Opportunity:
          • Was one of only 33 members of Congress to vote against renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.
          • Believes that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty."
          • Opposes all federal affirmative action programs.
              However:
              • Supports civil rights legislation on the state level.

        Tom's Take:

            Ron Paul is the rarest of animals: A legitimate Tenth Amendment candidate whose opposition to federal power is consistent and by no means limited to civil rights legislation. Paul stands no serious chance of winning the presidency, and that's probably a good thing, but his candidacy serves as a reminder that the party of Goldwater still has a few honest libertarians in it.
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