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Thread: Sens. Cory Booker and Rand Paul Team Up On Nonviolent Offender Rules

  1. #1

    Sens. Cory Booker and Rand Paul Team Up On Nonviolent Offender Rules

    ...

    Two U.S. senators from opposite sides of the aisle are slated to introduce legislation Tuesday that seeks to ease some criminal justice rules on juvenile and nonviolent offenders—an issue that has united some Democrats and conservatives.

    U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D, N.J.) and Rand Paul (R, Ky) are co-sponsoring the bill, which seeks to lesson sentencing and expunge the records of certain non-violent juvenile offenders.

    “I will work with anyone, from any party, to make a difference for the people of New Jersey and this bipartisan legislation does just that,” Mr. Booker said in a statement.

    Since Mr. Booker took office last year, he has worked to cultivate an image of bipartisanship; he dined with Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) in March and introduced legislation with Sen. Tim Scott (R, S.C.) that would provide tax credits to employers who provide apprenticeships.

    Mr. Paul campaigned in New Jersey for Mr. Booker’s Republican challenger, conservative Steve Lonegan, when they ran in a special election last year. But Messrs. Booker and Paul appear to have overlapping interests when it comes to drug and prison policies.

    Before he took office, Mr. Booker said in an interview that revamping national drug policies was one of his top issues, and he singled out Mr. Paul as someone he wanted to work with on the issue.

    Last month, the two joined Sen. John Walsh (D, Mont.) in proposing amendments that would ban the Justice Department from spending money to combat medical marijuana in states that allow it.

    The new legislation from Mr. Booker and Mr. Paul, called the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act, would offer funding to the 10 states that try juveniles as adults as an incentive to raise the age to 18.

    It would also lift the federal ban on providing food stamps to those charged with crimes of drug use and possession, and make it easier for some former juvenile offenders to expunge nonviolent convictions from their records.

    “The biggest impediment to civil rights and employment in our country is a criminal record,” Mr. Paul said in a statement. “Many of these young people could escape this trap if criminal justice were reformed, if records were expunged after time served, and if non-violent crimes did not become a permanent blot preventing employment.”

    Republicans have increasingly spoken out about the need to change criminal justice and drug policies—an issue often championed by Democrats.

    Republican Gov. Chris Christie, also of New Jersey, has called the war of drugs a failure, and has increased funding for drug treatment programs in the state. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, all Republicans, have also publicly embraced rehabilitation programs and sentencing changes for nonviolent offenders.



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  3. #2
    Not sure if I agree with this.

    "It would also lift the federal ban on providing food stamps to those charged with crimes of drug use and possession."

  4. #3
    Good stuff. Hopefully independents and moderate types both in and out of the Republican party will start recognizing Rand's ability to build coalitions. Could help.

    And as a side note, as a one-time Christie voter (in the general, not the primary), I'm glad to see him take a principled stance on an issue for once rather than towing the establishment line (although I don't think increasing state funding is the right solution)
    Last edited by LibertyEsq; 07-08-2014 at 07:07 AM.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Traditional Conservative View Post
    Not sure if I agree with this.

    "It would also lift the federal ban on providing food stamps to those charged with crimes of drug use and possession."
    Because someone is charged with drugs they don't qualify for food stamps? Why?

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Traditional Conservative View Post
    Not sure if I agree with this.

    "It would also lift the federal ban on providing food stamps to those charged with crimes of drug use and possession."
    I am of the opinion that food stamps create dependency, but I don't think if you smoked a joint and got busted, you should be disqualified. I support work requirements for food stamps, and it doesn't matter if you have a drug conviction or not.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by loveshiscountry View Post
    Because someone is charged with drugs they don't qualify for food stamps? Why?
    Actually I just saw a tweet at Rand that went along the lines of "WHY are you giving welfare to criminals? Are you insane?" and it occurred to me that this could be very problematic in the primary. Starting to wish he didn't include that provision as I don't really agree with it either.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by loveshiscountry View Post
    Because someone is charged with drugs they don't qualify for food stamps? Why?
    I just don't see how having more people on food stamps is a libertarian position. It seems like we should want us few people on food stamps as possible. This provision in Rand's bill would mean that there would be even more people on food stamps, and it would increase the deficit and the size of government.

  9. #8
    Poor young black men are always searched by police. One time he gets caight with a joint, now he has to depend on a black woman to bring the food stamps into the house. Very emasculating. Tavistock social engineering at its finest.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Traditional Conservative View Post
    I just don't see how having more people on food stamps is a libertarian position. It seems like we should want us few people on food stamps as possible. This provision in Rand's bill would mean that there would be even more people on food stamps, and it would increase the deficit and the size of government.
    Isn't the philosophy equal opportunity? How are the drug laws being enforced when looking at race?
    The food stamp rules should be based on need and nothing else.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyEsq View Post
    Actually I just saw a tweet at Rand that went along the lines of "WHY are you giving welfare to criminals? Are you insane?" and it occurred to me that this could be very problematic in the primary. Starting to wish he didn't include that provision as I don't really agree with it either.
    Similar to getting voting rights back for non violent drug offenders. He can't be wishy washy on this issue.

  13. #11
    Yup it comes back to the rule of law.
    The theory of the law is that once a criminal has served their sentence, they have paid their debt to the public and their full rights are restored.
    People who have been convicted of any crime should be eligible for food stamps after they've served their sentence.

    The question of food stamps is a separate one. If we think they should be eliminated, they should be eliminated for everyone. Not just certain classes.
    Non-violence is the creed of those that maintain a monopoly on force.

  14. #12
    The new legislation from Mr. Booker and Mr. Paul, called the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act, would offer funding to the 10 states that try juveniles as adults as an incentive to raise the age to 18.
    How about instead of offering more funding the bill just reads that existing funding will be curtailed?

  15. #13
    The punishment for drug offenses should be whatever you got sentenced with in your trial. Food stamps should not have anything to do with it after you have already paid the price. Whether we should have fewer food stamps in general is a separate issue
    Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. -Douglas Hofstadter

    Life, Liberty, Logic



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