Libertarian Party: Defending the Fourth Amendment for 42 years

Restore the FourthThe Libertarian Party has a long history of defending the rights to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Libertarian Party leaders and candidates will join a coalition of Fourth Amendment advocates tomorrow, July 4, at rallies held across the United States sponsored by Restore the Fourth, a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonviolent movement.

Anybody attending these rallies are encouraged to print and bring copies of this flyer, showcasing a broad sample of LP quotes supporting Fourth Amendment rights. The quotes, also included below, are taken from throughout the party’s 42-year history. By bringing these flyers to rallies across the United States, Libertarian Party supporters can show their friends and other defenders of the Fourth Amendment that the LP has been a consistent advocate of constitutional privacy rights for more than four decades.

“Electronic and other covert government surveillance of citizens should be restricted to activity which can be shown beforehand, under high, clearly defined standards of probable cause, to be criminal and to present immediate and grave danger to other citizens.”
Libertarian Party Platform, 1972 (adopted at first national LP convention)

“Undertaking initially to protect its citizens against aggression, [government] has often itself become … a far greater aggressor.”
John Hospers, 1972 Libertarian for President

“The government should not use electronic or other means of covert surveillance of an individual’s actions on private property without the consent of the owner or occupant.”
Libertarian Party Platform, 1976

“[If elected, I will] eliminate the ClA’s covert operations.”
Roger MacBride, 1976 Libertarian for President (paraphrased by The Daily Princetonian)

“As long as we live in a state of perpetual belligerence, the CIA cannot be tamed, nor can the other civil liberty abuses that arise from national security activities.”
Ed Clark, 1980 Libertarian for President (paraphrased by The New Republic)

“Don’t tell me I have nothing to hide. Everything I have is mine to hide from Government. The Constitution is designed to protect our liberties, our privacy, and to limit government power. Therefore, every governmental invasion of privacy must be rejected.”
David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian for President

“America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist.”
Ron Paul, 1988 Libertarian for President

“We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment and oppose any government use of search warrants to examine or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties.”
Libertarian Party Platform, 1992

“Browne spoke out against a wide range of so-called ‘anti-terrorist’ proposals from the White House and Congressional Republicans — including roving wiretaps, no-warrant wiretaps, extending RICO laws to terrorists, Internet censorship, government-mandated taggants, and efforts to weaken computer privacy.

“‘Each of these proposals is an attack on the rights of innocent Americans masquerading as an attack on guilty terrorists.’”
News release from the 1996 Harry Browne Libertarian for President campaign

“The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, personal privacy, the freedoms of assembly, expression and religion; and other individual liberties and rights must not be denied on the basis of national security.”
Libertarian Party Platform, 2004

“I think we should build a monument honoring Edward Snowden, and begin a common law jury investigation of all of our security agencies.”
Michael Badnarik, 2004 Libertarian for President

“We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property.”
Libertarian Party Platform, 2008

“The Patriot Act should be repealed, which would restore proper judicial oversight to federal investigations and again require federal investigators to prove probable cause prior to executing a search.”
Gov. Gary Johnson, 2012 Libertarian for President

“As governor, I will support and defend each Indiana citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights vigorously.”
Rupert Boneham, 2012 Libertarian for Governor, Indiana

“When elected to the U.S. Senate … I will introduce legislation to repeal the NDAA [and] to abolish the Patriot Act.”
Dr. Shaun Crowell, 2012 Libertarian for U.S. Senate, Tennessee

“The Libertarian position is a consistent position. We have always been against the NSA spying program. It’s a violation of our right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.”
James Weeks II, 2012 Libertarian for State House, Michigan

“Things like TSA checkpoints, random DUI checkpoints, stop and frisk, facial recognition systems, surveillance drones, etc., are prima facie violations of the Fourth Amendment.”
Adrian Wyllie, 2014 Libertarian for Governor, Florida

“Unless there is a valid warrant, the government should never be able to search its citizens.”
Gigi Bowman, 2014 Libertarian for State Senate, New York

“A warrant should be required for all searches and seizures performed by the federal government. If our government cannot justify the necessity of a warrant they are merely fishing in an attempt to build a case against an individual.”
Matthew Hess, 2014 Libertarian for Governor, Colorado

“Edward Snowden is a hero, not a criminal. If elected, I will sue the U.S. government on behalf of New Jersey residents and seek damages for violations of their Fourth Amendment rights.”
Kenneth Kaplan, 2013 Libertarian for Governor, New Jersey