One of the things I have always found frustrating and confusing is the number of folks who call themselves "civil libertarians" who simultaneously have not problem with economic and nanny-state hyper-regulation. In fact, ACLU types are often at the leading edge of calls for more regulation on safety or prices or property or whatever.
I have never been able to understand how the two are not inextricably linked. How can bright-line protections of freedoms of choice and action be essential in one sphere of our lives but unimportant in others? Here is just one example of how they work together, from none other than our egregious Sheriff, Joe Arpaio:
Arrest records from crime sweeps conducted by the Maricopa County
Sheriff's Office add substantial weight to claims that deputies used
racial profiling to pull Latino motorists over to search for illegal
even when the patrols were held in mostly White areas such as
Fountain Hills and Cave Creek, deputies arrested more Latinos than
non-Latinos, the records show. In fact, deputies arrested among the
highest percentage of Latinos when patrols were conducted in mostly
On the arrest records, deputies frequently cited minor traffic
violations such as cracked windshields and non-working taillights as
the reason to stop drivers.
"These are penny-ante offenses that (police) almost always ignore. This
is telling you this is being used to get at something else, and I think
that something else is immigration enforcement against Hispanic
people," Harris said....
Brian Withrow, an associate professor of criminal justice at Wichita
State University, said racial profiling is very difficult to prove.
States have thousands of traffic laws on the books, so police can
almost always find a reason to stop someone. The U.S. Supreme Court has
ruled that police can legally use minor traffic violations as a
"pretext" to stop someone they suspect of other crimes. Withrow said
the only way to prove racial profiling is by looking at large numbers
of traffic stops to see if "patterns and practices" of selective
enforcement exist. Otherwise, it's difficult to tell whether police are
stopping motorists for legitimate reasons or merely based on race or
Withrow agreed that the arrest records alone are inconclusive. But
he found it troubling that they show that Latinos were arrested more
frequently than non-Latinos even when the patrols took place in mostly
White areas such as Fountain Hills.
"That tells me that that is who is being targeted," Withrow said.