I respect Jim Gray, and “within the system” people like him are necessary, but the problem I have with him is that a former judge is likely to be too much of a system-loyalist for my tastes. For instance, Gray opposes jury nullification, just like when Gary Johnson was governor of New Mexico he refused to pardon drug prisoners. I want the “leader” of libertarianism to be a revolutionary, not just a politician saying, “Well, maybe this or that reform would be kind of nice.” As flaky as Adam Kokesh is, his program of abolishing the federal government is spot on. I felt the same way about Tulsi Gabbard. As good as she was on certain things, I knew her first loyalty was going to be to the military and the Democratic Party. “Libertarian reformism” is ultimately no more promising than Democratic or Republican reformism.
By Matt Welch
Judge Jim Gray, the 2012 Libertarian Party (L.P.) vice presidential nominee and the first sitting jurist to come out against the drug war way back in 1992, announced to his email list Monday that he will seek the party’s presidential nomination in tandem with vice presidential candidate Larry Sharpe.
The L.P., America’s third-place finisher in the previous two presidential elections, is scheduled to determine its 2020 ticket during a national convention on May 21-25.
Gray, 75, was a Superior Court judge in Orange County, California, from 1989 to 2009, during which time he was best known for his pioneering stance on marijuana prohibition and his unsuccessful Republican primary run against longtime Rep. Bob Dornan in 1998. Gray switched to the L.P. soon thereafter, finishing in fourth place with 1.8 percent of the vote in a 2004 U.S. Senate race won by incumbent Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer. After being cultivated by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for the vice presidential slot in 2012, Gray became part of what was then the party’s second-most successful White House ticket in history, earning 1.0 percent of the national vote.