Post Date: September 19, 2013
(MSNBC/Presumed Guilty with Ari Melber) — When Eric Holder announced new policies to reduce harsh prison sentences for non-violent offenders in August, an unusual pol had his back. Calling mandatory minimums “one of the most unjust federal policies of our time,” Sen. Rand Paul heralded the Obama administration’s move, arguing that reform should be a “bipartisan issue.” Paul followed up on that talk with action on Wednesday, testifying before the Senate Judiciary committee on a joint proposal with Democrat Pat Leahy to curb mandatory minimums for non-violent offenders.
Critics of the war on drugs are thrilled to have Paul on board. He offers not only bipartisan validation, but credibility with a growing constituency, since Paul is arguably the most prominent libertarian in America. While progressives have spent years building the groundwork for criminal justice reform, increasingly it is libertarian Republicans who are putting some key measures over the top. Read more