Tag: lp 2020

Adam Kokesh Begins Presidential Campaign, Gets Arrested

Mark West | United States

Libertarian activist Adam Kokesh has long since announced his candidacy for the Libertarian Party nomination for President in 2020. But last week, in New Orleans, police arrested him on the campaign, again. His crime is still unclear; the arrest occurred as he was cleaning filthy concrete on a public street by water stenciling “FREEDOM” into the dirty road. Officers from the New Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Department then confronted Kokesh. After he refused to show his ID, they arrested him.

The New Orleans “Book Bomb”

After spending more than 48 hours in the clink, police released Kokesh and dropped all charges. Kokesh was in New Orleans for a “Book Bomb”, for which he planned to place more than 200,000 copies of his book, “Freedom!”, in residential mailboxes.

He also took part in a New Orleans Freedom Townhall, which Loyola University’s Young Americans for Liberty hosted. The townhall also featured former law enforcement officer Robert Evans and Loyola University Economics Professor Walter Block.

Kokesh is campaigning on a promise to initiate the “peaceful, responsible dissolution of the entire federal government,” which he says he says he can enact through an Executive Order once he is president. He sees the collapse of the United States Federal Government as “inevitable” and is concerned that if he doesn’t win, this collapse may not occur peacefully or orderly manner.

Adam Kokesh 2020: His View

In an upcoming book, “American Freedom”, Kokesh plans to outline his federal government dissolution plan. He plans to release this book before the 2020 campaign season. Kokesh is a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Fallujah, Iraq. For his actions, many of which he regrets, he received a Navy Commendation Medal for Combat Action Ribbon. He is also an author and former television and radio host.

Adam Kokesh is well-known in libertarian circles for his acts of civil disobedience. One of his first claims to fame came in 2011 when police arrested him for leading a flash mob of dancers in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. Not long before, courts ruled that dancing in the monument was to be illegal. He has since been arrested several times while engaging in acts of civil disobedience.


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Arvin Vohra Will Pardon Snowden and Ulbricht of Victimless Crimes as President

By Arvin Vohra | United States

A few days ago, I announced that on the very first day of my presidency, I would take on the role of Pardoner-in-Chief. I would first pardon Edward Snowden and Ross Ulbricht, then continue to all those in prison for non-violent offenders. That includes all in jail for drug use, sales, or networking (like Ulbricht), cryptocurrency law violators, those with only gun possession charges, sex workers, clients of sex workers, and many other victimless criminals. I have also declared my intention to encourage others to use the power of the jury for similar purposes, by saying “not-guilty” to cases involving victimless crimes.

The response has been about what I expected. Many have furiously declared that such large scale pardons would violate the will of the courts, the Constitution, the will of the people, and even moral principles. On each of these areas, my detractors are wrong.

Today, ill-considered mandatory minimum and three strikes laws block the will of the courts. Judges have lost the legal ability to give comparatively reasonable sentences. Many have spoken out against the harsh sentences that the state legally forces them to hand out. In the current legal climate, government ignores the will of the court and replaces it with bizarre, draconian penal requirements.

Also, my plans for large-scale pardons are in no way unconstitutional. In fact, the Constitution directly grants the president the legal ability to pardon. Our past presidents have used this power. Perhaps they have done so on a much smaller scale. Still, Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution grants this power without limitation.

In fact, I would argue that the Eighth Amendment nearly creates a constitutional requirement to pardon. This amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Today, those in prison for victimless crimes are in danger. They face the constant and all-too-common threats of assault and rape at the hands of other inmates. While this is not the legislated punishment, it has certainly become a de facto one. The existence of this environment, in my eyes, is a clear and blatant violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Do large scale pardons violate the will of the people? Absolutely not. I have made my intentions clear, over two years in advance of the election. There is no bait and switch here. If the people elect me, they will do so knowing that I will pardon those the state convicts of victimless crimes.

Ultimately, however, this is a question of conscience. I cannot, in good conscience, stand by while the state unjustly imprisons my fellow Americans. I cannot, and will not, do nothing while those who have harmed no one are locked in cages under a constant threat of sexual assault.

In the eyes of many, those people are the bottom rung of society. Perhaps they are. But, that doesn’t mean that their rights matter less, that their freedoms matter less, that they matter less.
While I am not a religious person, I draw great inspiration from the world’s religions. I do believe that whatever the state does to the least of us, it does to all of us. I have no intention of doing nothing while the state unjustly imprisons people in my name, with my money.

To those of you currently imprisoned wrongfully: I don’t seek your vote, as I know you cannot vote. I only ask you to keep fighting, to not give up hope. I know you feel that most of America has abandoned you. Believe me when I tell you that there are more of us than you can imagine, working to set you free, to let you live with dignity. We are going to keep trying. It is not over until we win, until every one of you is free.

To those who enjoy freedom, I ask you to become Pardoners-in-Chief in your own right, but using the power of the jury. As a juror, you have the ability to say “not guilty” if you believe that a law is unjust. Such a process is called “jury nullification” and is a fully legal option for all juries. Essentially, this means that the jury declares the person on trial guilty, but the law unjust. Thus, there is no sentence. That idea isn’t new. It’s the reason we have freedom of the press in America. The famous Zenger trial was decided based on judging the law itself: the defense admitted that John Peter Zenger broke the law, but the law itself was wrong.

As St. Augustine said, “An unjust law is no law at all.” I stand by my pledge to pardon those convicted of victimless crimes on my first day, and ask you to apply the same principle through jury nullification.


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