May 212010

Rand Paul (photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

Recently the Republican nominee for one of Kentucky’s senate seat, Rand Paul, dared to question the 1964 passing of the Civil Rights Act (or did he?). This instantly made him a Very Bad Person™ in the eyes of progressives (not that having Ron Paul for a father is winning many popularity contests). Paul seemed to be defending the austro-libertarian contention that government intervention against prejudicial discrimination in the private sector is antithetical to the natural rights to freely associate and freely use private property.

Frederic Bastiat (public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Frederic Bastiat wisely said in Economic Harmonies, “Government acts only by the intervention of force; hence, its action is legitimate only where the intervention of force is itself legitimate.” The question at hand is whether or not governmental force is justified in forbidding discrimination.

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Jun 292009

There’s been a lot of buzz in the #tlot and #tcot tags on Twitter about the latest SCOTUS ruling. In Ricci v. DeStefano, the Supreme Court court overruled a decision that nominee Sonya Sotomayor contributed to.

“New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.”

I tend to agree that this decision rightly overturned an abuse of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that amounted to reverse discrimination. However, as far as I know libertarians don’t care much for this misnamed (in their view) law (c.f., “Civil Rights Act” search at Continue reading »