The Corner

More Rand Paul

Here’s my column on Paul today. Yesterday, Paul came his closest to a full walk-back in an interview with Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: Dr. Paul, I just want to be precise, did Woolworth — Woolworth, the department store, have a right, at their lunch counters, to segregate blacks and whites?

PAUL: I think that there was an overriding problem in the South so big that it did require federal intervention in the ’60s. 

This certainly would give the impression that Paul thinks it was right for the federal government to prohibit discrimination in private commercial activity. Lots of readers have e-mailed in support of Paul’s (original?) position on the Civil Rights Act on grounds that the commerce clause has been abused. Of course, it has. I’ll have to defer to our legal authorities around here to discuss this in detail, but the commerce-clause line of reasoning pre-dates the Civil Rights Act, so it isn’t the source of that problem as some readers seem to believe.


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