Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson on SCOTUS: 'We Don't Have Litmus Tests, But Kelo Really Stands Out'

The Libertarian presidential candidate discusses the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Gage Skidmore / Flickr.com

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson recently sat down with conservative journalist Guy Benson for a wide-ranging interview. Among the topics they discussed was the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Benson began by asking Johnson about recent comments made by his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, in which Weld named Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Merrick Garland as the sort of judicial candidates that the Libertarian ticket would be considering.

"Bill has backed away from naming those names," Johnson told Benson.

That disavowal will no doubt come as a relief to many libertarians. This is the same Stephen Breyer, after all, who joined the pro-government majority in the eminent domain debacle Kelo v. City of New London. It's the same Stephen Breyer who dissented in the gun rights cases D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. The same Stephen Breyer who frequently votes to grant broad leeway to police and prosecutors in Fourth Amendment cases. As for Merrick Garland, President Obama's languishing pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, his record, as I've previously noted, "reflects a version of legal liberalism that tends to line up in favor of broad judicial deference to law enforcement and wartime executive power." Breyer and Garland are not exactly libertarian legal heroes.

According to Johnson, what Weld was really trying to accomplish by name-checking Breyer and Garland was to "point out…that we were really going to be bipartisan, that we really were trying to bring together both sides of this." Nevertheless, Johnson conceded to Benson, "I think Bill if he had it all to do over again he would not have named names."

Benson then asked Johnson about his opposition to imposing "litmus tests" on SCOTUS nominees. "Would you have any litmus tests for a Supreme Court justice on cases like Kelo, for example, cases that really matter to libertarians, libertarian principles?" Benson asked.

"Yeah I think Kelo is one that really does stand out," Johnson responded. "Although we don't have litmus tests, but Kelo really stands out as a litmus test, in my opinion."

Most libertarians will be cheered to hear that. Unfortunately for Johnson, he spoiled the effect somewhat by appearing genuinely shocked a moment later when Benson noted the role that Justice Breyer played in that particular case.

"Did [Breyer] actually uphold Kelo?" Johnson asked Benson.

"Yeah, he did," Benson replied. "He was in the majority in that case."

"Oh my gosh," Johnson declared.

I think it's safe to assume that Johnson-Weld won't be dropping Stephen Breyer's name anymore.

Related: Is SCOTUS a Good Reason to Support Trump? Libertarian and Conservative Legal Experts Weigh In

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  1. SIV, please read the article before commenting.

      1. The Truth hurts, TEAM LP fanboi

    1. Who is this SIV person you all keep yammering about?

    2. He might have the day off. I imagine his knees and jaw are pretty tired after the threads last night.

      1. Was he at Trump’s all-you-can-eat backdoor buffet again?

        1. Again? More like “still”. It’s pretty much a 24/7 Trump cum guzzling feast for that dickhead.

    3. REEDING IZ 4 FAGGITS N CUCKS!!1!11!!11!!!!!

  2. And this shows one of the manifold reasons I won’t be wasting my vote on Johnson. The guy pretends to knowledge he doesn’t have.

    1. To be fair, this doesn’t differentiate him from any other politician, except that he’s worse at pretending otherwise.

    2. What politician doesn’t?

    3. It’d be great if interviewers stopped feeding him answers (Nick’s “interview” last week was atrocious). I wonder, if Guy didn’t bring up Kelo in the question, whether Johnson would have mentioned that case at all as a not-litmus-test litmus test..

      1. You saw that too, huh?

    4. Actually, he ADMITS to not knowing stuff, including in this article. Which is pretty damn rare among politicians.

      That being said — not knowing Breyer is a terrible SCOTUS justice (along with, to some extent, all the other ones)? WTF?

      1. Yeah, his ignorance isn’t the problem. It’s his incurious attitude and deference to the status quo.

        1. That’s what pot will do to you . . . .

          1. Lack of curiosity, maybe. Deference to the status quo? Not so much.

            1. Okay, that’s what pot does to me . . .

      2. The problem is that a good politician should be able to say, “I’m not familiar with X, but in a problem like this, my philosophy is to do Y”.

        Unfortunately, GJ doesn’t have a philosophy. He is trying to be a middle of the road, get along type of guy who is beholden to keeping everyone happy rather than reducing the scope and size of government (because the intersection of Left and Right politics is an unprincipled morass of feelz). This is why he or Weld pays lip service to leftist causes like abortion, gun rights or SCOTUS, it flies directly in the face of liberty, instead trying to create a mushy middle ground that will keep everyone happy (and actually pleases no one).

    5. It’s worse than that.
      Thanks to the socialist Gary Johnson and his gun hating side kick, the Libertarian party is now doomed to another 30 years of irrelevance.
      How the hell does this happen?
      Every where you turn in this cuntry – socialism / statism.

  3. That disavowal will no doubt come as a relief to many libertarians.

    Not really.

    1. At risk of perpetuating the “crab bucket libertarianism” I too am not relieved to hear that Weld just “misspoke”. Did he also misspeak when he said “anyone who’s on a terrorist watchlist be able to buy any gun”?

      I’m also not relieved to hear that calling illegals “illegal” is “very incendiary”.

      At some point you have to call a spade a spade.

      1. Call a spade.?!….oh, what you did there

      2. Im not worried about Weld. The most likely path to the WH for Johnson ends up with a Vice President Pence.

      3. At some point you have to call a spade a spade.

        That pussy wouldn’t even say that phrase for fear of alienating the Precious, Precious BLM-sters and their divisive dumpster fire, for fear of being branded a bigot and EVULZ RACIZT!.

        1. He’s white, he’s old, he’s a he, and he’s not a cringing progressive intersectionalist (not on paper, anyway).

          That ship has sailed.

      4. AR-15s are weapons of mass destruction, dude. William Weld said so.

    2. What is more likely the truth, the first thing that came out if your mouth, or what came out after you realized the first thing you said was angering your supporters?

    3. Yeah, exactly.

      When someone “changes their mind under public pressure”, the reaction isn’t “THE PAST IS FORGOTTEN!! ALL IS WELL!!”

      the reaction is, “Nice CYA there”

      Gary’s newer comments aren’t exactly substantive either. He seems to only nod about Kelo when prompted. It would be more encouraging if he said more than, “Yeah, that’s probably important” and maybe suggested a few issues himself without being spoonfed.

  4. Far more entertaining will be the post-election sit down with Doug Benson.

    1. I was going to say something similar – that an interview with Doug Benson would be far more interesting. Especially if they’re both baked.

      1. He does Non-baked interviews? benson, that is.

  5. “Bill has backed away from naming those names,”

    “I think Bill if he had it all to do over again he would not have named names.”

    Something about this Weld-Johnson ticket is a little off.

    1. Now they’re sounding like a real political party!

  6. Kelo stands out but Heller doesn’t and neither does Citizens United. Moreover, the entire Democratic Party is against both cases. There is no way to be “bi partisan” and work with both sides without walking away from CU.

    At this point it is fair to say that the LP and by extension reason and a large section of the Libertarian movement has walked away from the uncompromising support of the 2nd Amendment and the right to free political speech. That is pretty fucking sad.

    1. Bipartisan means “not libertarian”.

      You can’t please the Rs and Ds with a libertarian SCOTUS nominee.

      1. No you cannot. Since when did Libertarian come to mean “bipartisan and centrist and work with everyone”? Johnson is like bizzaro Spock Libertarian. Isn’t the entire reason for the LP that both parties in their own ways loath freedom?

        1. +1 Bearded Vulcan.

      2. “Bipartisan” generally means the average citizen is about to get fucked.

        Let’s think of some recent, high-profile “bipartisan” efforts by Congress:
        The USA/PATRIOT Act
        The Iraq War
        TARP
        The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012
        The 2015 Budget

        I know I’m leaving off plenty

        1. War on Drugs.

        2. I’d rather something be “bipartisan” than “common sense”, although put the two together and you’re screwed.

        3. Social security, Medicare and Aid for Families with Dependent Children

      3. Conservatives love Janice Rogers Brown. The typical “constitutional conservative’s” dream SCOTUS justice is going to be almost exactly the same as the “typical libertarian”. Or it would’ve been until the recent development of “libertarian” as meaning an SJW who like the central planners to give us a few choices.

        1. JRB is one judge, and while she’s a very good one, the slate of conservative-favored jurists runs the gamut. Although I applaud the Republicans in the Senate for resisting Obama’s “moderate” appointee, if the same guy had been nominated by a Republican, he would be confirmed without much resistance.

          I think prolefeed has it backwards. It’s not that conservatives would necessarily oppose a libertarian. It’s that they’d more often than not settle for someone who’s not libertarian.

          1. It’s not that conservatives would necessarily oppose a libertarian. It’s that they’d more often than not settle for someone who’s not libertarian*

            Yes, their preference is for judges who strongly align with limited government principles and a literal reading of the constitution but they will support a GOP president’s nominee unless it is someone like Harriet Miers. They intrpret fierce opposition by Senate Democrats and liberal legal scholars as some sort of endorsement.

            *(Much like capital “L” Libertarians in the last 3 presidential elections, although to be fair, Bob Barr had some credibility as a “civil libertarian”)

            1. Yes, their preference is for judges who strongly align with limited government principles and a literal reading of the constitution

              If only. Their preference is for judges who will tell them what they want to hear in Senate hearings. Sometimes that translates into jurisprudence.

    2. Free speech objections aside, the past two election cycles (2014 with Cantor, 2016 with Sanders, JEB!, Trump, etc.) have demonstrated that all of the hand-wringing and fears over the effects of CU were completely wrong. If anything, it’s shown that campaign spending beyond a certain (low) point is an enormous waste of resources. (The MSM, of course, will not point this fact out, as they are the financial beneficiaries of the current approach.)

      1. The effects of CU is that the government can’t declare criticizing politicians illegal. Of course the justification for campaign finance restrictions was always bullshit.

      2. Jeb! spent over $53 million per delegate won. Trump? Just under forty. Thousand.

        1. If that were paid directly to the delegate, Bush would have done much, much better.

    3. At this point it is fair to say that the LP and by extension reason and a large section of the Libertarian movement has walked away from the uncompromising support of the 2nd Amendment and the right to free political speech.

      This assumes that the LP is somehow the center of mass of the libertarian movement. It isn’t. I have discussed the LP with a significant number of libertarians, and in my experience, the overwhelming majority of them, ~80%, will have nothing to do with the LP, considering it either to be dominated by sell-outs who compromise in a desperate bid for electoral success, full of nut-jobs, a scam, a waste of time, and an unfunny joke.

      I think the LP is actually one of the most minor and least influential components of the liberty movement and has nowhere near the popularity and influence that outsiders assume it must have.

      1. Okay, the LP, Reason and a significant portion of the Libertarian Movement. That is still pretty sad.

      2. I used to be the Chair of a state LP party, and the people I met there were dedicated to liberty.

        Now, if you look at a cost-benefit analysis of whether the LP is the most effective way of getting more liberty at the margins — mmm, maybe not, at least from an anarchist perspective.

    4. Johnson wasn’t asked about either of those two cases in the interview, John, so I’m not sure why you would expect him to bring them up. As for his positions on them,

      Was the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision Good for America?

      “I think it [the Citizens United case] comes under the First Amendment, that they should be able to contribute as much money as they want.”

      Source: Thomas R. Eddlem, “The ‘Other’ Candidates for President,” thenewamerican.com, Aug. 20, 2012

      Out of Hillary, Trump, and Stein, he is the only one on record supporting the Citizens United ruling. I didn’t find any mention of him specifically on Heller, but he also has had the most consistent record of supporting gun rights.

      1. +1 Mistaken Impression.

      2. He was asked if he had litmus tests and which if any cases stood out. And he said he didn’t have any litmus tests and that Kelo was the one case that stood out.

        So neither Heller nor CU stand out to him and both cases are negotiable. Otherwise, there would be a litmus test. And I didn’t say he opposed those cases. He doesn’t. He just doesn’t care about them and views them as something that can be traded to get things he considers more important.

        If you want to vote for Johnson, fine. But don’t’ ever again claim that gun rights are that important to you because they are clearly not important to Johnson and that doesn’t bother you.

        1. He is focused on wrongly decided cases.

          No need to worry about Heller, stare decisis takes care of it.

          1. Heller was a 5-4 decision. Stare decisis isn’t going to take care of it. Moreover, even if it were not technically overturned, future courts could limit it to its facts to such a degree it would become virtually meaningless.

            Heller has to be a priority. And it just isn’t for Johnson. Johnson doesn’t give a fuck. He cares about sorry, pot, Mexicans and gay rights. Those seem to be the three issues he won’t trade away.

            1. Yep.

              The lower federal courts have been generally hostile to the Second Amendment. They have already rubberstamped as permissible:
              * New York City’s $340 permit fee and one year process to get a permit to keep a handgun in your own home.
              * Discriminatory gun carry permitting in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California and Hawaii, where only those who are wealthy and connected are allowed to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense.
              * A “safe storage” law in San Francisco that requires homeowners to keep guns on their person or locked up when they are sleeping or in the shower, directly contradicting the Heller ruling.
              * A complete ban on any gun possession by anyone who has a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana.
              * Bans on firearms based upon cosmetic appearance. This is the most troubling because the bogus legal reasoning behind these bans leaves the door wide open to wide bans on entire classes of firearms, not just the so-called “assault weapons”.

              Expect a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court to uphold all of these laws and more, including enabling the bankruptcy of gun makers by frivolous lawsuit.

              1. enabling the bankruptcy of gun makers by frivolous lawsuit

                I expect instead they will arrive at some sort of “settlement” which includes taxing the everloving shit out of guns and ammo.

            2. Those seem to be the three issues he won’t trade away.

              Hardly, he’s a mush on pot, he doesn’t really understand immigration, and his position on “gay rights” and related issues is incoherent.

  7. “Yeah I think Kelo is one that really does stand out,” Johnson responded. “Although we don’t have litmus tests, but Kelo really stands out as a litmus test, in my opinion.”

    Self-Contradict much, there, GayJay? Fucking imbecile, *ANY* frequenter of this site can rattle off at *FIVE* of the best/worst SCOTUS cases of both recent and historical memory.

    YES! They *ALL* *ARE* Litmus Tests. Stop embarrassing yourself, GayJay – *YOU* wanted Weld, you got Welded. Good and hard. Own it, GayJay.

    1. It is not just overturning the five worst. It is all of the good ones that are in danger. As lousy as Kelo is, it is not as important or as damaging as overturning Citizens United and Heller would be.

      How the hell can anyone who claims to be a conservative or libertarian be asked about the Supreme Court and both Citizens’ United and Heller not be at the top of the list? I don’t think Johnson is an imbecile. I think he is just being honest. He really doesn’t give a shit about the second amendment or political speech. Yeah, he is not actively against gun rights and political free speech. He will just happily trade those things away to get the things he does consider important, which seem to mostly revolve around pot, immigration, and gays being able to buy wedding cakes.

      1. which seem to mostly revolve around pot, immigration, and gays being able to buy wedding cakes.

        The approved wording is “Mexicans, pot, and ass-sex.”

      2. No, John. If this bozo, and yes, I agree with tarran that GayJay is running a half-assed, vainglorious alleged campaign, doesn’t know FIVE, hell I will be generous **TWO** best/worst cases each and, more important, can explain WHY they are conducive/antithetical to liberty, then he is bona fide useless.

        This election is about SCOTUS – nothing more, nothing less. Everything else, including the economy (since so many recent rulings directly effect commerce and the application of The Commerce Clause) is secondary.

        The economy. such as it is in the USA, will be there. SCOTUS is now at least 40 years out, with as many as FIVE appointments in the next 4-8 years.

        Also, Obama will withdraw Garland from consideration as soon as Shrill Bot is elected.

        1. I agree. This election is about the SCOTUS. And the chance Johnson had to make a big impression was to be really forceful on the SCOTUS and gun rights and free speech and ending the parade of horribles the courts have inflicted on us. And Johnson has basically refused to do that.

          He is just a dud. You tell me what he is doing to further or better explain the cause of freedom because i don’t see it. All I see is him telling the world that Libertarians are really leftists who like pot.

        2. I disagree, the election is always about the economy.

          A 1% growth difference, compounded over 100 years fixes a lot of shit.

          1. A 1% growth difference, compounded over 100 years fixes a lot of shit.

            And one, ONE!, SCOTUS case can pre-emptively scuttle it. You (and me – I still am bound by the penaltax even in UKR) haven’t seen the worst of ObamneyCare yet. And that was decided less than five years ago. Don’t tell me that hasn’t already had a demonstrable impact on the USA’s economy, to say nothing of the Fourth Branch of Goverment (The Regulatory State).

            Oh, and Wickard is the worst, WORST case ever decided by SCOTUS. Stare decisis indeed.

      3. Heller and Citizens United are important to the voting demographic Johnson is trying to attract, but because they are against them. A social liberals are social liberals to the bone

      4. How the hell can anyone who claims to be a conservative or libertarian be asked about the Supreme Court and both Citizens’ United and Heller not be at the top of the list?

        Because most people list the WRONG decisions at the top of the list, not the right ones.

        Ask me, and Kelo would be #1, followed by Raich (for fairly recent decisions, I mean, I could go back to Slaughterhouse or something).

        I tend not to think about the correct decisions.

        1. Oh for Sod’s sake, robc. To convince someone WHY the “bad” decisions are incorrect, you have to counterbalance with the ones (at least an equal number of, if not more) that are “good” and can be argued conclusively, thoroughly, and exhaustively correct. THEN you might be able to sway a heart to sway a mind (and must be done in that order).

          You are making the common mistake (in addition to this pie-in-the-sky throwing it to the House nonsense – my wife and I have better odds simultaneously fingerbanging all of Vladimir Putin’s sloppy seconds whilst getting struck by lighting AND Crusty takes a vow of celebacy, in Russian, all at the same time – than GayJay throwing anything to the house besides fart wafts) that people, deep down agree with you (us) – recent history, and history of the last one hundred years in the USA largely demonstrates otherwise.

          GayJay is *not* playing eleventy frillion-D chess here, much less checkers.

        2. Considering that the correct decisions are hanging by a thread and you are being asked about nominating Court Justices, how could they not come to your mind as well.

          Johnson was invited to give his litmus tests for justices. And he said there were none. Why should I not take him at his word and conclude that he would appoint someone who was willing to overturn Heller if that person was good on other things and appealed to both sides?

          You tell me Rob how to square “I have not litmus tests and want to work with both sides” with saying Johnson is not willing to compromise and trade away Heller.

          1. Because he also said Kelo was a litmus test, sorta.

            Look at the 4 judges who got Kelo right. Look at how those 4 judges voted on Heller and CU.

            See a connection?

            Any judge who who overturn Kelo would also support Heller and CU. They all come from the same legal philosophy.

            You dont need a litmus test, you need a judge whose legal philosophy is correct and then there is no need for litmus tests.

            1. So anyone who supports Kelo will automatically support Heller? That is just not true. There are critics of Kelo from the left. And not every person on the right supports gun rights in any meaningful way. See for example, Weld. If Weld were on the court would you trust him not to overturn Heller or limit it to nothing? I wouldn’t.

              Come on Rob.

            2. Any judge who who overturn Kelo would also support Heller and CU. They all come from the same legal philosophy.

              EVERY single Justice who has been nominated has deviated, either narrowly or broadly, from the ideology of EVERY president who nominated them. Without exception. You, nor I, truly know how Justices may rule once confirmed (Earl Warren, anyone?)

              you need a judge whose legal philosophy is correct

              Which is….wait for it….A LITMUS TEST! As scores of SCOTUS judges have shown, even ideologically congruent Justices have arrived at same or similar opinions, but not being 100% in agreement via written opinion.

              Which legal philosophy is “correct”? The ONLY way you’ll get your definition of, “correct,” robc, is YOU get nominated AND confirmed.

    2. My litmus test is the Constitution. Will the justice adhere to the words written there?

      1. To their “interpretation” of it, sure.

      2. My litmus test is a literal litmus test, so I can figure out which one of these hoes is a basic bitch.

  8. “Oh my gosh,” Johnson declared.

    “My breakfast is coming up,” my stomach responded.

  9. Donald Fucking Trump talks more often and in more uncompromising terms about gun control than Gary Johnson. I don’t say that as any kind of endorsement of Trump. I point it out as a way to shame Libertarians who are shilling for this guy. What on earth is going on?

    1. Well, for starters, Trump saying he’ll do something is an unusually unreliable indicator of future performance.

    2. Donald Trump uncompromising on anything? You gotta be kidding. He’s supported assault weapon bans, all sorts of gun control measures.

      Go find a fattie to keep your typing fingers busy.

      1. You miss the point. My point is not that Trump is good from a Libertarian perspective. My point is that he is bad and yet still manages to consider gun rights to be more important than Johnson.

        Yes, Trump sucks. And Johnson has managed to suck worse. That is my point.

        1. Johnson didn’t want to stand out by being the only broadly acceptable candidate in the race.

          1. “Broadly acceptable”? First, there are no female libertarians and second, chicks don’t like it when you call them “broads”.

    3. What on earth is going on?

      Two phenomena, that show up in movement after movement.

      1) People start compromising when power looks achievable. “We have a chance to get our guy in office! All we have to do is soft pedal X! We can do that next year! Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good!”

      2) People vote for the lesser of evils: “Sure, he sucks on X, but can you imagine how much worse it will be on issues X,Y,Z if the other guy(s) win the election!”

      You yourself have pointed out how successfully the leftists have used (1) to transform our society from a generally liberal one to the proggie dystopia that is gradually coming into focus.

      And, of course, (2) is so common that in every election a majority of voters are following its logic to make their choice.

      1. I understand all of that. And yes compromise is necessary to accomplish anything. The question is what issues are you willing to compromise on and what issues are you not. The thing with Johnson is that he is about being reasonable and broad appealing when it comes to things like gun rights and religous liberty. He is uncompromising on open borders, pot and cutting spending.

        That tells you where his priorities lie and what his real beliefs are. My problem with him is that I have a different set of priorities and beliefs. If letting the Democrats continue to spend money is the price of keeping the 2nd Amendment, it is a sucky choice but better than the alternative. I disagree with the drug laws but being able to smoke pot is pretty cold comfort when they come to take my ability to defend myself away and its a crime to criticize a politician or practice anything but state approved religions.

        I think Johnson has completely whacked out priorities and values.

        1. My thinking is similar but different. 🙂

          I think he isn’t a libertarian in that Johnson really believes in society being crafted by free people making their own choices. That business of we don’t want a society that results from business owners being permitted to discriminate between prospective customers is one many statements along those lines. I just don’t think he values freedom in and of itself. It’s top-men-itis, but comparatively mild compared to Clinton, Stein or Trump.

          Not to mention, his throwing out the replica gun that Austin Petersen gave to him when Austin pledged Austin’s loyalty and support to him. Not only was it unbelievably churlish, that episode told me that he really knows very little about leading people (as opposed to managing them).

    4. Pot

  10. We don’t have litmus tests? Really? So, he’d be perfectly happy to nominate someone who would overturn Heller and Citizens United?

    Fuck that. Goddam, Gary, I want to vote for you but you aren’t making it easy.

    1. Why would you vote for the SOB?

      1. Best candidate on my ballot.

    2. He made Kelo a not-litmus, litmus test.

      Can you imagine anyone getting Kelo right and getting CU or Heller wrong?

      1. He made Kelo a not-litmus, litmus test.

        So he’ll make ObamneyCare’s not-tax, not-penalty, but really a tax, and a penalty at the same time, and call it a,”fee.” Like that cockamamie Carbon “Fee” (which is SO totes not a tax, no way, so bae. AF.)

        How much are you willing to compromise, robc. Tell me, what’s your Point of No Return with this guy? What is your line in the sand? What other flips flops and lapses in judgement (numero uno being William Weld – exactly what Romney would be if he ended up a pickled, Scotch-soaked lush).

        1. A better candidate on my ballot.

          1. Then, you appear to be implying, no matter what this guy does or says (and flip flops because voters got pissy with the truth – which is most often one’s first response), you will mindlessly vote for him, no matter what. Nothing this charlatan can say will sway you. Because, TEAM!

            And they say TEAMBERULED voters are mind-numbed zombies.

            You didn’t answer the question, “How much are you willing to compromise (cede, which is what I meant to type)?” I don’t expect to get an answer on that one…

            1. No, there isnt nothing he can do. As long as he is better than Clinton/Trump/Stein/de la Fuente (I think that will be the other KY options) I will vote for Johnson. If he falls below one of them, I will vote for that one instead.

              However, I do have a TEAM reason to vote for him. He has a real chance to break 2%, which gives all the real libertarian candidates automatic ballot access for the next 4 years. Including President in 2020. That is a damn good reason for voting for him regardless of anything else.

            2. I dont know how you read “He is better than Trump/Clinton” as a mindless team response.

              1. I dont know how you read “He is better than Trump/Clinton” as a mindless team response.

                1) You didn’t specify that until now, in those exact words.

                2) You still haven’t stated what you are willing to cede, and to what point is unacceptable. I get the ballot access; what I want to know is: What *specifically* qualifies the price as too high. Until that question gets answered discretely and directly, then yes, I question your overall discernment and you now are in mindless TEAM territory.

                3) Define, “Real.” HazelMeade authenticity? robc authenticity? SugarFree authenticity? GILMORE authenticity? tarran authenticity?

                1. What *specifically* qualifies the price as too high.

                  I think I specified it.

                  Let me lay it out in more detail since subtle doesnt work:

                  1. I vote. I am going to cast a ballot in November. I have no problem with people who dont, but that isnt me.

                  2. I vote for the candidate I most want to win office X. Whatever that means.

                  3. The point when Johnson becomes unacceptable is when someone else on the ballot becomes more acceptable. Clinton could renounce her leftist ways and become a Goldwater girl (again), and assuming I believed her, she could move ahead of Johnson.

                  1. I think I specified it.

                    No. You didn’t, and I get it. You won’t. Whatever policy position that is your tipping point, your fulcrum of, “Yeah, he doesn’t support this or that, so’s yep, no vote for him.” You do not a have a clear demarcation, like any other TEAM robot.

                    Don’t ever claim you’re princinpals (yes, that was purposeful) can’t be bought, robc, because you appear to have a hard time elucidating your principles beyond, “Tallest Midget,” rationale. Not unlike, well, Johnson and Weld, frankly, and you can’t seem to tell me what, “Moreso than Johnson/Weld,” means either. And yes, spell out a laundry list of how they fall short. Insofar as your local races, I’ll have to defer to your expertise.

                    1. I dont know what is so hard to understand about “best candidate on the ballot.”

                      Yeah, sometimes that is tallest midget. Other that staying home, what is my choice?

                      And staying home doesnt help any.

                      I dont think I have any one single principle that would keep me from voting for anyone. Well, pro-socialism maybe, but even that is a sliding scale.

                      I would have preferred to vote for Paul instead of Johnson, but he didnt win (and actually, I will get to vote for him). I would think that I preferred a potential GOP candidate to the LP candidate is the opposite of TEAM.

                      And Paul has issues too. Im not running, so no candidate is perfect. So voting for the best is all I got.

                      And as I have said a jillion times, I voted for Barr/Root. Johnson/Weld is an easy vote in comparison.

                    2. Actually, I was wrong. I do have one issue that prevents you from getting me vote: were you an active inside participant in the destruction of the USFL?

                      That is unforgivable.

                    3. I am not sure what you want.

                      I vote for the most pro-liberty candidate as best I can calculate.

                      Do I need to publish my formula or something?

                2. Define, “Real.”

                  Moreso than Johnson/Weld.

                  Basically the KY LP could put more real libertarian candidates on the ballot easily.

                  Whether they pass the purity test is personal opinion. Based on history in local races, there is a decent chance.

  11. Alt-text: Dumb and Dumber

  12. OMG, y’all are just a bunch of purists!

    /sarc

    Seriously, to follow up on (and adapt) what some other people have said, the only scenario where Johnson wins the Presidency would not involve Weld. Assuming Johnson/Weld win enough states to throw the election into Congress, then the Senate will choose the VP from the top 2 vote-getters who I assume will be Trump/Pence and Hillary/Kaine. So the Senate will either pick Pence or Kaine (probably) on who wins the Senate in this election.

    Then in the House, they will pick from among the top 3 vote-getters, and each House delegation gets a vote.

    Assume there’s a deadlock such that neither Hillary nor Donald wins the House delegations (I’m not actually sure how that will happen, but bear with me). Some delegations go for Donald, some for Hillary, some for Gary, and a majority cannot be reached.

    Assume the Democrat (Kaine) wins the Vice-Presidency (a reverse scenario can be constructed if Pence wins).

    The Democratic House members won’t want to resolve the deadlock except by voting for Hillary (which by hypothesis – bear with me – cannot be done since there’s a deadlock). But the Republican House members may want to vote Johnson as an alternative to Kaine who is, after all, a Democrat.

    So the Donald delegations may join with the Johnson delegations to choose Johnson in preference to Kaine.

    (construct a reverse scenario if Pence becomes VP).

    This sounds a bit far fetched. The good news is Weld is out of the picture.

    1. While your outcome is correct, your scenario is wrong.

      House wont consider what the Senate is doing for Veep at all.

      Hillary cant win in the House, IMO, the state by state voting goes against her. But I could see the GOP coming behind Johnson instead of Trump.

      1. “House wont consider what the Senate is doing for Veep at all.”

        What does that mean?

        If there’s a deadlock in the House, the party which wins the Vice-Presidency won’t have much of an incentive to compromise in order to resolve the deadlock.

        1. Ummm…the House wont be doing anything else until they elect a President. And they have nearly 3 weeks to figure it out, that could be a couple hundred ballots.

          1. Eh, they have experience of dicking around doing nothing, I’m sure that experience will come in handy if they *really* don’t want to elect anyone.

            1. But I don’t really know what they’ll do, anyone with better information can educate me.

  13. Gary can be a bumbling, rambling, incoherent mess. No doubt.

    I’d love to see how Clinton or Trump would hold up under this kind of specific and relentless questioning, however. They would never even agree to an interview of this kind.

    So, at the end of the day, I’d rather vote for the guy who admits he doesn’t have all the answers and even gets it wrong now and then.

  14. Better news if just Hilldog and Trumpster are excluded; I don’t care who the VP is though I have to hold my nose re Weld.

  15. “Did [Breyer] actually uphold Kelo?” Johnson asked Benson.

    “Yeah, he did,” Benson replied. “He was in the majority in that case.”

    “Oh my gosh,” Johnson declared.

    I like Gary Johnson. I really do. But, I almost get the impression he’s winging it, even more than Trump.

    1. Look, he forgot, OK?

      Know what I mean? (puff, puff)

      1. What does the Magic Dragon have to do with this?

    2. Too much marijuana starts to impact your cognitive functions after a while.

      1. And you’ll never even miss it

    3. Give poor Gary a break. It’s not like he’s ever run for president before . . ..

  16. The right villainous Kevin Williamson: Perhaps Americans shouldn’t be too quick to mock Brazil’s awful political scene.

    About $18 billion was misappropriated through the pedaladas fiasco, most of which was paid back. By way of comparison, the U.S. government made at least $72 billion in improper payments in 2008, mostly through the major entitlement programs. A 2014 audit found that a U.S. government-transparency program (!) failed to account for at least $619 billion in spending from 302 federal programs, and the data that the government put forward to a rightly skeptical public was, in the words of USA Today, “wildly inaccurate.”

    We have seen the future. At least Brazil has some nice beaches.

    Corruption leads to poverty. It leads to poverty in Brazil, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Philadelphia, in Los Angeles, in Upstate New York, and in the Rio Grande Valley. Capitalism ? the awesome productive capacity of free people ? can bear many burdens and defray many costs, but it can be perverted and misdirected, too. From the state-run enterprises in Brazil and Venezuela to the green-energy fantasies of U.S. progressives, we see that the real threat to capitalism is not domination but seduction.

    Brazil seems to be hearing that gospel. We refuse to listen.

    1. Why does Kevin D. Williamson seem more libertarian than the Johnson/Weld combo platter?

  17. According to Johnson, what Weld was really trying to accomplish by name-checking Breyer and Garland was to “point out…that we were really going to be bipartisan, that we really were trying to bring together both sides of this.” Nevertheless, Johnson conceded to Benson, “I think Bill if he had it all to do over again he would not have named names.”

    Right, because the *real* problem here is in being too specific and too transparent. Hide more and be more bland so that no one knows what you’re talking about or who you’d nominate; that’s the ticket.

    “Yeah I think Kelo is one that really does stand out,” Johnson responded. “Although we don’t have litmus tests, but Kelo really stands out as a litmus test, in my opinion.”

    Yeah, that’s it — perfect. Never have a checkable stance on anything; make sure that you both are in favor of and against having litmus tests, because being too clear on either option would scare away voters. People love voting for candidates who are perceived as untrustworthy flip-floppers.

    1. ENB never quite captured it in her (desperate attempt to put favorable) gloss on his answer to the “prostitution” question…. but what he *actually* said was a hilarious combination of 3 different answers.

      – his first, instinctive response was, “Its a federalism issue – let the states decide!”. IOW = he didn’t have any principled view on the matter at all, and felt that whatever states do, well that’s what they do, more power to them.

      – then anderson cooper reads the LP party-platform to him, which says that they have a principled stance on self-ownership, and oppose ALL decriminalization of all victim-less ‘crimes’

      – Gary then says, “yeah! I agree with that.” despite it contradicting his first point.

      – Cooper then says, “So you agree that Prostitution is a victimless crime?”

      – and Gary says, “Oh no. I think prostitutes are victims”.

      – Weld chimes in that there’s all sorts of victimization in prostitution, and gives a knowing nod as though, “You know what i mean, Cooper” – remember that time in Vegas?

      basically, he manages to take 3 or more different positions in the course of about 30 seconds. I’ve eaten Jello that had stronger convictions.

      1. You see what you did there? With the positions and the pros?

  18. There seems to be a King and Burwell missing from that Breyer list of accomplishments.

  19. (Doing my best Jack Nicholson)

    “You’re god damn right I have a litmus test !”

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  21. Is there any issue Johnson/Weld ARE libertarian on?

    The TPP and CIRA don’t count as they were written and supported by a bipartisan group of the biggest establishment statist hacks in D.C.

    1. So to be libertarian is to be a gadfly? You can’t agree with the Establishment about anything?

  22. I think we can all agree that Dred Scott was a poor decision. Right guys?

    …right?

  23. RE:
    Gary Johnson on SCOTUS: ‘We Don’t Have Litmus Tests, But Kelo Really Stands Out’

    Nothing could further from the truth. The Kelo decision was a wonderful judicial decision that still reverberates to this day. Our Founding Fathers were foolish enough to believe that eminent domain was to be used solely for the purpose of improving property for the public’s good. How ancient that ridiculous idea is! This was the political Stone Age. Now, thanks to heightened enlightenment, our ruling class turds are able to enjoy the benefits of cronyism and political payoffs. Such progress indeed. Now our socialist slavers too can enjoy taking money from contractors under the table to build a mall, a condo or anything else that strikes the fancy of their benign, trustworthy and honorable cronies. It is a win-win situation. The little people’s property is stolen by the government, and return they get just a fraction of what the property is worth, and our socialist sociopaths who enslave us and their cronies make a fortune off of it. We should all stop what we are doing and write a thank you note to Souter, Ginsberg and all the other morons from Hell who wiped their ass with US Constitution and its original intent. We can all look forward to more of the same in the future from the members of the Soviet Supreme Court. Aren’t we lucky?

    1. Got that wrong. It was to be for “public use,” and not public good. Like a road, which is used by the public. As opposed to a pipeline, which is for benefit of a private company.

      1. In what way do I, the consumer, not benefit from the existence of a pipeline used to transport more oil more efficiently? If we make oil as difficult to transport as possible, won’t that increase costs, which are thereby transferred to the customer?

        *looks at username*

        Oh…you know what? Never mind, Jack. I didn’t ask a question. Go back to your rocking chair facing the corner of the room and resume licking your oversized lollipop, listening to calliope music.

        1. It doesn’t matter. He thinks he has libertarians dead to rights but that’s because he’s a stupid liar.

          He doesn’t have a problem with eminent domain. He has a problem with the pipeline.

          Libertarians don’t have a problem with the pipeline. We have a problem with eminent domain.

          He disingenuously conflates the fact that we don’t oppose the pipeline in any and every possible way with the the notion that we must therefore support the use of eminent domain to build it.

          His cult demands the pipeline be stopped, and anyone who disagrees must be shamed, even if it doesn’t make any fucking sense.

          1. Can always count on kbo to apologize and excuse oil. Well done!

            1. You are nothing if not predictable.

              1. Hey, you’ve got an option kbo. Don’t read my comments. Lord knows I don’t read yours unless you’re addressing me. But you follow me around, don’t you?

                1. Stop lying about libertarians and I’ll stop calling you a liar. Stop repeating the same discredited bullshit and I’ll stop calling you an idiot. I don’t follow you around, you show up and shit all over the place.

            2. What’s wrong with oil? We need oil for many things – plastics, fertilizers, gasoline.

              You have a problem with oil?

              1. No. The problem is eminent domain. It’s just not a problem for the phony libertarians here.

        2. Oh that’s right Guy, you’ve missed the point. Entirely. You do benefit. It can be construed as doing good (adding benefit) to the public.

          Too bad for you and the phony libertarians here that’s not what the Constitution calls for. It calls for public “use.”

          Go back to hibernation. It suits you.

          1. Which is why Kelo, and the cases that led up to it which allow the legislatures to define “public use”, is such a problem — it opens the floodgates of abuse. What part of this is so hard for you to understand?

        3. I might add that every phony uses “good.” Like you did. Trump claimed tearing down that old ladies house was for public good because he was adding jobs. You’re in good company.

      2. So you wouldn’t have a problem with private property owners selling their property to oil companies to build the pipeline – correctly?

        If I freely choose to sell, you’ve no objections?

        1. Exactly. Now go and look at all the cases today, like Bakken, where individuals don’t want to sell and oil companies are using ED to force them.

          No problem for the phoneys here.

          1. Well, okay then. But oil companies are hardly the guilty party here.

            Government is.

            1. That’s like saying Trump wasn’t the problem with using ED.

              The point is that Damon crusades against ED, but never mentions the biggest offenders today…oil. Hypocrisy.

            2. Here is just one example today, with individual farmers fighting against ED with the Bakken pipeline.

              http://www.law360.com/articles…..l-pipeline

              You won’t see Damon even discuss it. He’s selective about ED victims.

  24. Kelo, or the onerous use of eminent domain, stands out for libertarians? Really Damon? No greater use of onerous ED exists today than that being used by private oil companies who are taking private land for their personal corporate gain.

    Well, at least here is one libertarian who speaks out against it, George Phillies. Speaking about just one recent instance, Keystone, he said this:

    “Eminent domain for private gain is the mark of the beast that our federal government has been turned into a proprietary tool of the corporate plutocratic interests who see the purpose of government as to rewrite the rules in their personal favor.”

    For sure we can’t count on you, Damon. For you, it depends on just who exactly is taking that private property. It’s not so much about principle.

    1. He also said this:

      “Libertarians across America should condemn the Keystone pipeline bill as a scheme to use eminent domain to seize massive amounts of private property for the private gain of a select few oil interests. “

    2. For you, it depends on just who exactly is taking that private property.

      It is the exact opposite. You’re the one who’s so fucking concerned with the pipeline, while libertarians are concerned with eminent domain in general. The pipeline doesn’t stand out as especially egregious in that regard, except to you because your cult demands it be stopped and doesn’t actually give one shit about private property.

    3. Furthermore, whoever the fuck George Phillies is, he’s just another concern troll masquerading as a libertartian. If the government has become “a proprietary tool of corporate plutocratic interests”, then the people should stop voting for politicians who are so easily bought.

      1. He’s been a libertarian longer than Damon. Idiot.

        1. I don’t give a flying fuck. If he thinks nefarious interests control our political process, rather than the voters, then he’s the idiot. Either pony up with evidence of electoral fraud or else shut up and accept that this what the voters want or at least will tolerate.

          The pertinent question to libertarians is over rights not political bickering.

      2. By the way, Reason has quoted him many times in the past. But you’re not too bright, are you.

        1. Way to miss the point.

  25. I don’t know why he doesn’t use Anthony Kennedy as an example of a scotus judge he likes. He and Weld sure don’t know much about the court.

    Ron Paul supported the Kelo decision because of “states rights”.. I don’t, Im just pointing that out to people that worship RP.

    1. Way to miss the point

      1. Paul opposed the McDonald v Chicago decision too because of “state rights”. Just fyi

  26. “we were really going to be bipartisan, that we really were trying to bring together both sides of this”

    STOP!

    1. Isn’t that the problem in the first place? Bringing both sides together only feeds the statism.

  27. “Did [Breyer] actually uphold Kelo?” Johnson asked Benson. “Yeah, he did,” Benson replied. “He was in the majority in that case.” “Oh my gosh,” Johnson declared.

    Jesus H. Christ on a giant pogo stick. What a complete and total fucking idiot.

    1. “Excuse me sir, can I have another brownie? These are really good! ” Gary Johnson, campaigning through Colorado with a lay-over at “Rocky Mountain High Confections”

  28. Johnson needs to quit trying to appeal to the non-existent “angry” Sanders’ voters. That shipped sailed long ago and they’re solidly for despotic Hillary.

  29. I’d like to ask Johnson/Weld – couldn’t you have picked an easy case – like Lochner? Libertarians love it and the general public is too ignorant to know anything about it.

    1. Among certain groups of lefties, Lochner is a dirtier word than Plessy or Dred Scott.

      1. Which is ironic

  30. Well it looks like Gary is about to implode. What a wasted opportunity. Time to elect a new LP chairman and start planning to stop Petersen in 2020, the only candidate who was worse than Johnson.

  31. Must be trying to be an ass and lose on purpose.

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  34. Gary Johnson doesn’t understand that neither he or anyone else can predict what decisions a Supreme Court appointee is going to make. It also isn’t likely that a libertarian could be appointed to the Supreme Court because a true libertarian would be rejected by the Senate.

    Supreme Court appointees are all government enthusiasts, of one stripe or another.

    Breyer was not only bad on Kelo and on 4th Amendment issues. He was the main architect of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, a disastrous formulaic approach to federal terms of incarceration. He is also a strong champion of the regulatory state, who sees no moral or constitutional problem in allowing federal agencies to decide what behavior to criminalize. Breyer is a very mean and destructive man. The fact that Gary Johnson doesn’t know this is just one more clue that Johnson doesn’t understand the dangers involved in wielding the power of government.

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