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Libertarian Party four-decade advocacy for marriage equality pays off with US Supreme Court decision

June 26, 2015
Via LP.org:

In a 5-4 ruling today, the US Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license same-sex marriage and recognize those marriages entered into in other states.

Libertarian candidates, including the party’s 1976 presidential nominee, Roger MacBride, have been bravely calling for marriage equality since long before it was politically correct. In fact, they’ve been doing so when it was considered downright dangerous.

David Boaz, Vice President of the Cato Institute, noted in a column in The Advocate, “The Libertarian Party endorsed gay rights with its first platform in 1972 — the same year the Democratic nominee for vice president referred to 'queers' in a Chicago speech. In 1976 the Libertarian Party issued a pamphlet calling for an end to antigay laws and endorsing full marriage rights.”

“I'm glad to see that the Supreme Court has upheld the equal rights for all Americans that the Libertarian Party has been fighting for, for over forty years," said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

“We applaud and celebrate this victory, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all Americans to pursue happiness and prosperity in any way they choose,” he said, “as long as they don't hurt others or take their stuff."

"Established by the States" Not So Much; The Supreme Court Upholds the ACA

June 25, 2015
Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) in a 6 to 3 decision. Chief Justice John Roberts issued the opinion in the case of King v. Burwell. The root of the case was the interpretation of the phrase "Established by the States." The federal subsidies, which make the otherwise unaffordable healthcare 'affordable' were found to be in compliance with the law.

Despite what many assert as clear diction in the law, the Court ruled against a direct reading of the legislation. The Court opted for an interpretation and in the process delivered a blow to Liberty. Many initially indicated that the verbiage in section 1321 was constructed as a punitive means to force or rather "entice" states to create exchanges. If the states failed to comply with the requirements the federal government would step in and do it. Failure to comply came with a monetary punishment; the state would not receive federal subsidies. This, of course, would leave these states who did not participate to the hands of a populous who now could not afford the new healthcare and as such the opposition stalwarts would suffer masses of uninsured unhappy constituents.

Whether section 1321 was meant to be a carrot or a stick, it is clear what the law as passed says. There is still a fleeting hope that Liberty could be preserved in this political era but even so, it should be no surprise that the ACA once again is saved in such a muddy fashion. If there is one thing government does well, its a bad job.

As libertarians there were two losses today. One is legislative and the other is philosophical. It is important to make this distinction as there has been plenty of legislative resistance to the ACA coming from the Right side of the aisle and occasionally from the Left of the aisle, but often they seem to be focused only on their version of a law and not the Constitutional and moral foundation of the legislation. This became evidently clear when the GOP chose to run Mitt Romney in 2012. As the President has "Obamacare," Romney had "Romneycare." It was a blow legislatively to the Right as well as libertarians. Both lost due to the federal government holding fast to its new power granted to it in the ACA.

Philosophically, libertarians suffered a major blow as well. Core to our principles are ideas such as non-aggression and the free market. We did not have a free market in healthcare before the ACA, but with behemoth legislation like the ACA there is little hope of seeing a meaningful turn-around in our political landscape. In addition to the codification of ideas that are anti-Liberty, our predicament is exacerbated by the laws and politicians servicing them, using them as a bully pulpit from which statists will continue to broadcast a claim on your life and labor. No better showcase of this is in a White House response to the ruling in which the President stated that health care is a right. Health care is a service and as such there must be a provider. If healthcare is a right this means that inherent in the ethos of the ruling political party there is a belief that individuals are entitled to services of other individuals. An astute observer only needs to step a few years into the history books to learn the horrible results of such an idea as being the rightful owner of another's labor.

Adam Kokesh to Speak at Liberty Sessions

May 11, 2015

Liberty Sessions welcomes Author and Liberty Activist Adam Kokesh

Liberty Sessions was formed by a few members of the Ascension Parish/EBR PECs for the purpose of spreading the ideals that the Libertarian party was founded on. Each month they take a single hot button issue and present the libertarian take on it. By first giving a small introduction to the Non Aggression Principle, they construct the setting for the topic at hand and get the audience to view the issue through the microscope of self ownership and the NAP so as to come to the libertarian position on the issue. The goal is not necessarily get everyone to agree, although ideally that would be great, but to at least give  an understanding on how we reach our positions and give people a little insight on the principles that make up the “party of principle”. After a brief speech, Liberty Sessions breaks into discussion groups with a set of questions for each group to answer or inspire fruitful discussion.

So far, Liberty Sessions has touched on topics such as the negatives of prohibition in general (food, drug/alcohol, and guns), 2nd amendment, marriage equality, and marijuana legalization. Some future topics are jury nullification and the social safety net.

While Liberty Sessions has seen an increase in attendance over the last month or two, they certainly would love to see more participation from registered libertarians in the area as well as non registered guests. They advertise on Facebook mostly so check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/louisianalibertysessions

This month will be a very special one, at least in the eyes of the planning committee and founding members, as we welcome a special guest. Adam Kokesh is a well known figure in the liberty movement and has recently released his first book “Freedom” in which has been used as a tool for liberty sessions. They also have purchased a couple of hundred to hand out to our newly registered brethren. Adam was a TV show host on RT, ran for Congress in 2010, and is currently continuing his activism as a podcaster, author and currently is on a national speaking tour to spread the message of liberty.

Please join us on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00 PM in Baton Rouge at The Londoner for what we hope to be a great event!

New Orleans LP has mixed support for moves on UberX

February 11, 2015
Orleans Parish Chairman Michael Dodd released the following statement regarding Councilwoman Guidry’s moves on UberX:

While we agree with and appreciate Councilwoman Susan Guidry’s proposed move to allow the Uber ride sharing company to expand operations to include UberX in New Orleans, we cannot support the onerous requirements that the city would like to impose on the enterprise. Requiring a $100,000 start up fee along with prohibiting operations around Louis Armstrong airport and area hotels, as well as asset seizures for rule infractions amounts to simple protectionism for the Taxicab Bureau and as such the Orleans Parish Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party would like to encourage the Council to remove these restrictions and help make the transportation market as free as possible.

The Libertarian Party supports Uber drivers along with all the other businesses which seek to peacefully take part in voluntary trade with the public. While there are risks to engaging with any business from taxis to tailors and everyone in between, we believe that informed customers are in the best position to make decisions regarding these risks. We support Councilwoman Guidry on moving forward, understand her reticence and care in dealing with this issue, and welcome all progress towards free market solutions to our transportation needs.

Competition amongst service providers should improve conditions and increase choices for consumers and help keep our local economy strong.

New Orleans Libertarians Not Pleased With Smoking Ban

January 26, 2015
In light of recent events, the Orleans Parish affiliate of Libertarian Party of Louisiana would like to express our disappointment with the recent New Orleans city council vote to pass a strict and sweeping smoking ban in private businesses. As advocates of personal and economic liberty, we believe that business should be free to offer their services to the public under whatever circumstance most suits their values and those that they deem most conducive to the success or failure of their particular enterprise. This new set of ordinances will increase bureaucracy and expenses for a government that is already strapped for cash, as in all likelihood, any supposed fines will most likely not cover the expense of hiring and training monitors to enforce the ban.

This infringement on the liberty of business owners and patrons alike is a violation of the spirit of personal choice. There were well over 100 non-smoking entertainment venues prior to passing this ban where those that choose not to be around smoke could vote with their dollars. The city government has now decided that they know better than the private citizen how to live their lives and what decisions they should make pertaining to their personal health. Rest assured that further infringements on your freedom to choose will be forthcoming as long as people continue to ignore these little bites of “progress” in the name of The Greater Good.