The New York Post recently reported on appellate argument over Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks. The issue is whether the law, and its many exceptions and loopholes, is “arbitrary and capricious.”
One of the judges asked Bloomberg’s attorney whether a “7-Eleven on the same block could sell the same drink [that a bodega could not sell]?”
Bloomberg’s lawyer replied, “Maybe.” Sounds arbitrary and capricious to us.
The same can be said of Bloomberg’s dictates on smoking and guns. Conservatives have no problem condemning Bloomberg on these issues.
What conservatives avoid acknowledging, however, is that Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policing policy is similarly “arbitrary and capricious” despite its undeniable effectiveness in reducing violent street crime. The arguments offered to support “stop and frisk” are not appreciably different from those arguments suggesting that Obama’s NSA “Prism” surveillance program is just fine because it protects us from the terrorists despite its intrusiveness, and, ultimately, it’s unconstitutionality.
Conservatives must be careful not to casually accept limiting liberty for security when it seemingly only affects some “other” citizens or groups of citizens.