“I think a great demonstration of the old rules not applying anymore is look at the co-sponsors of The Smarter Sentencing Act,” says Matt Kibbe, president of the libertarian activist group FreedomWorks. “It’s guys like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and of course Rand Paul and Jeff Flake, also with Patrick Leahy and Sheldon Whitehouse…. They all agree there is an over-criminalization of American life and they all agree the government has overstepped its bounds.”
The Smarter Sentencing Act will reform federal mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders and give judges more discretion in sentencing. It’s part of a wide-ranging push to reduce America’s prison population and address the militarization of police and other issues. As Kibbe explains to Reason’s Nick Gillespie, criminal justice reform is a place where true bipartisanship is not just happening but is a good thing.
“I had a sit down with Eric Holder on these issues, we’ve meet with the White House policy staff, I’ve been working with [progressive groups]Moveon.org and The Center for America Progress, says Kibbe, author of Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto. “This isn’t typical bipartisanship, where you split the difference on [an]idea, this is a genuine coming together on core values.”
“I think the overall trend is a skepticism of Washington,” says Kibbe. “The smartest people in the room dictating how things should be doesn’t work for families. Communities work better.”
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Edited by Joshua Swain. Production by Alex Manning, Paul Detrick, and Zach Weissmueller.