Ron Paul: Civil Rights Act “Reduced Individual Liberty”

May 21st, 2010 at 1:33 am | 8 Comments |

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In light of Rand Paul’s recent statements about the Civil Rights Act, its worth remembering how Ron Paul once characterized the Act:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to explain my objection to H.Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the 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. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • PainfullyAware

    Ron Paul is correct through the lens of the “Spirit Of Liberty”.

    Reconstruction Was A Joke – More Like Rob The South.

    The Original Issue Needed To Be Rectified.

    However, The Commerce Clause Has Brought “Many Cures That Were Worse Than The Diseases”.

    Prohibition Of/ War On … “Insert Issue Here”

    Thus I Can Understand That The Words, Without The Context Of Personality, Might Elicit Some Vagaries. Much is lost in the written word; and without context, misunderstood.

    Liberty => All People Equal; Constitution => Protection Of Life , Liberty, Property.

    Anyone Advocating A Return Toward Constitutional Limits On Federal Power Is An Ally.

    The Shadow Banking Level 3 Asset Currency Crisis Is Just Beginning To Manifest. What People Hold Dear Will Be Tested Soon.

  • elsongarino

    A few words for the Pauls from Ezra Klein:
    “For instance: Can the federal government set the private sector’s minimum wage? Can it tell private businesses not to hire illegal immigrants? Can it tell oil companies what safety systems to build into an offshore drilling platform? Can it tell toy companies to test for lead? Can it tell liquor stores not to sell to minors? These are the sort of questions that Paul needs to be asked now, because the issue is not ‘area politician believes kooky but harmless thing.’ It’s ‘area politician espouses extremist philosophy on issue he will be voting on constantly’.”

  • buddyglass

    I can see distinctions between the govt. dictating whether businesses can discriminate based on race and the other things on Klein’s list. Except possibly the minimum wage: Paul would probably oppose that. So I don’t think its necessarily hypocritical for Paul to take his stance re: the CRA while not also opposing the restrictions in that list.

    The CRA was based on the idea that each of us has the right to participate equally in the private sector. So if you can go into Woolworth’s and order a soda, then I should be able to also, regardless of my race and regardless of whether Woolworth’s actually wants to serve me. Paul doesn’t view this as a right the govt. should guarantee.

    Businesses and immigrants: this is a criminal thing. The govt. can tell businesses not to hire illegal immigrants for the same reason it can tell businesses not to hire wanted felons.

    Safety regulations: These regulations impose restrictions on businesses that safeguard citizen’s rights to not be poisoned, blown up, or otherwise endangered by poor practices on the part of those companies.

    Liquor stores and minors: Essentially you’d argue that selling alcohol to a minor is akin to endangering a child, which is a criminal offense. The govt. is empowered to protect the rights of children, which are infringed when someone “endangers” them by selling them alcohol. This makes a lot more sense when you imagine someone selling a 5 year old booze than if you imagine a 18 year old. (Personally, for this reason, I think the drinking age should be lowered.)

  • Brian

    Both of the Pauls fail to consider the rights of the individual in their constitutional calculus. This is a country where all men are created equal and we can all expect, as a right, to be treated equally. There will be cases where one person’s rights conflict with another’s. We have laws and court cases to sort out those conflicts. In the scenarios they describe, the individual’s right for equal treatment outweighs the property owner’s right to discriminate. This matter has been settled decades ago and they both need to accept it 100% and move on.

  • JimBob

    Brian, all men are created equal but but that doesn’t mean they have a right to come in my house! Well what’s the difference between my home and business?

  • Brian

    The door is open and the sign says come in?

    Seriously, this issue has been settled decades ago in favor of equal rights. Why is that so hard to accept?

  • James

    Freedom of Association arguments aside, in this day and age I would think anyone who hates racism would favor the allowing of private businesses to discriminate. Before you hit the ceiling and flame me think about the economics of it a little. Any businessman will ultimately have to answer to market forces and the mechanism of profit and loss. The businesses that refuse to discriminate and serve the most customers will out compete those who do not and crowd them out of the market. Also reputation is a factor. Customers who are favorable to the discriminatory business might choose not to patronize it because they disagree or they fear for their own reputation or both. I certainly wouldn’t do business with such a place.

    There is no better lesson than having one’s livelihood stolen away by one’s own flawed and misguided beliefs and convictions. This is currently not allowed to happen. Why would anyone favor using the coercive power of the State to help keep racist business owners in business?

  • charles_ranalli

    Ron Paul and Rand Paul have stated their belief that the 1964 civil rights acts did not improve race relations but did reduce personal liberty in America. how outrageous. how insensitive. how dare Ron Paul and Rand Paul speak the truth publicly in America today ?
    charles ranalli
    albuquerque