2016 Republican Presidential Candidates


Strong but Fair Criminal Justice


  1. The quality of being just; conformity to the principles of righteousness and rectitude in all things; strict performance of moral obligations; practical conformity to human or divine law; integrity in the dealings of men with each other; rectitude; equity; uprightness.
  2. Conformity to truth and reality in expressing opinions and in conduct; fair representation of facts respecting merit or demerit; honesty; fidelity; impartiality.
  3. The rendering to every one his due or right; just treatment; requital of desert; merited reward or punishment; that which is due to one's conduct or motives.
  4. A person duly commissioned to hold courts, or to try and decide controversies and administer justice.

Constitutional Quotes

  •  Article I, Section 8 - The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    •  To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
    •  To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
    •  To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
  •  Article I, Section 9 - The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
    •  No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
  •  Article II, Section 2
    •  The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
    •  He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
  •  Article II, Section 4 - The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
  •  Article III, Section 1 - The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
  •  Article III, Section 2
    •  In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
    •  The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
  •  AMENDMENT XI - The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State. (Note: Article III, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by amendment.)
  •  Article III, Section 3
    •  Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    •  The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
  •  Article IV, Section 1 - Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
  •  Article IV, Section 2 - The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
    •  A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
  •  Article VI, Section 2
    •  The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
  •  Amendment IV - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  •  Amendment V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  •  Amendment VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
  •  Amendment VII - In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. 
  •  Amendment VIII - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


  • Article of Confederation IV
    •  If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon demand of the Governor or executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offense.
    •  Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State.
  • Article of Confederation IX
    •  The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States -- fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States -- regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated -- establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office -- appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers -- appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States -- making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.


  •  Declaration of Independence
    •  To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
      •  He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
      •  He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
      •  He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
        •  For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
        •  For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
        •  For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

2004 Republican Platform Quotes

  •  Winning the War on Terror
    •  International Institutions
      •  We hail the actions of President Bush and the Republican Congress to ensure that our nation's efforts to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court, whose jurisdiction we do not accept as extending to Americans. We support full implementation of the American Service members Protection Act, whose provisions are intended to ensure and enhance the protection of U.S. personnel and officials.
      •  We also praise President Bush for his efforts at home, where he has tripled the number of traffickers criminally charged and doubled the number of convictions, while supporting the good work of organizations that are rescuing women and children from exploitation.
  •  Building an Innovative, Globally Competitive Economy
    •  Corporate Accountability
      • The private sector functions most effectively when laws are transparent and people respect them - this includes people in positions of power. When corporate leaders break the law, they should be punished.
      •  After fraudulent corporate practices rooted in the irrational exuberance of the late 1990s began to surface in the closing months of 2001, President Bush worked with the Congress to take decisive action to restore honesty and integrity to America's corporate boardrooms. In July 2002, President Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the most far- reaching reform of American business practices since the 1940s. Under this new law, CEOs and Chief Financial Officers are required to personally vouch for the truth and fairness of their companies' disclosures; for the first time, an independent board has been established to oversee the accounting profession; investigators have been given new tools to root out corporate fraud; and enhanced penalties are ensuring that dishonest corporate officials do hard time.
      •  We applaud President Bush for vigorously enforcing the law to deter and punish further corporate abuses. He established an interagency Corporate Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute financial crimes; to recover the proceeds of those crimes; and to hold corporate criminals to account. Since the Task Force was established two years ago, over 700 violators have been charged and over 300 convictions or guilty pleas secured, including more than 25 former CEOs. More than $1 billion in forfeited funds has also been recovered from corporate wrongdoers for return to defrauded creditors and investors. Separately, the enforcement budget of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has more than doubled, and the SEC has issued new rules to ban late- trading and other fraudulent practices engaged in by certain mutual funds. Thanks to swift and decisive action by President Bush and the Congress, Americans can trust that corporate executives who operate outside the law will be prosecuted.
    •  Protecting the Rights of Workers
      •  In addition, criminal prosecutions against employers and plan trustees who abuse pension and health plans have increased by more than 50 percent since 2001. More than $3 billion has been secured through court judgments, settlements, and fines covering 150 million workers and their dependents by holding those who manage benefit plans accountable for their legal obligations to protect plan participants. Thanks to Republican efforts to enforce the law, the word is getting out that benefits managers should invest and manage employees' retirement funds as carefully as they would handle their own.
    •  Investing in Science, Technology, and Telecommunications
      •  At the same time, we recognize the magnitude and pace of change require vigilance by government to make the most of the opportunities, mitigate the possible downsides of rapid technological advancement, and protect the technology industry from modern day pirates at home and abroad - both those who violate copyrights and those who loot by litigation.
  •  Strengthening Our Communities
    •  Revitalizing America's Cities
      •  New York City evolved from a city plagued by crime, smothered by government, and void of opportunity, into one that attracts both families and young people looking to build careers and enjoy an urban lifestyle. New York's turnaround is a testament to the great power of turning Republican ideals into policies and solutions. By focusing on economic growth and opportunity, business development, crime control, and the revitalization of urban eyesores, we can inject fresh energy and opportunity into America's urban centers.
      •  Violent crime rates, including robberies and rapes, were down in 2003.
    •  Protecting Our Rights, Fighting Criminals, and Supporting Victims
      •  We believe the Second Amendment and all of the rights guaranteed by it should enable law-abiding citizens throughout the country to own firearms in their homes for self-defense. To protect the rights and safety of law-abiding citizens, the Congress passed and President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, which allows active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns in public while off-duty. We support efforts by the Administration and Congress to enhance the instant background check system for gun purchases and to ensure that records of lawful transactions are destroyed in a timely manner. 
      •  We agree that the best way to deter crime is to enforce existing laws and hand down tough penalties against anyone who commits a crime with a gun. This approach is working. Since Project Safe Neighborhoods was instituted in 2001, hundreds of new federal, state, and local prosecutors have been hired to target criminals who use guns. Prosecutions are up 68 percent, and the violent crime victimization rate is down 21 percent. The Republican Party and President Bush support a federal Constitutional amendment for victims of violent crime that would provide specific rights for victims protected under the U.S. Constitution. We support courts having the option to impose the death penalty in capital murder cases. We praise President Bush and Republicans in Congress for the measures they have taken to protect pregnant women from violent crime by passing Laci and Conner's law, which recognizes the common-sense proposition that when a crime of violence against a pregnant woman kills or injures her unborn child, there are two victims and two offenses that should be punished.
    •  Helping Ex-Offenders Contribute to Society
      •  This year, more than 600,000 inmates will be released from prison. Studies show that, without intervention, approximately two-thirds will likely be rearrested within three years of their release. The President has proposed a four-year, $300 million initiative to reduce recidivism and help released inmates contribute to their communities. The initiative will harness the resources and experience of faith-based and community organizations in providing job training and placement services to 50,000 non-violent adult ex-offenders, transitional housing for up to 30,000, and voluntary mentoring support for those desiring it.
    •  Promoting Drug-Free Communities
      •  After witnessing eight years of Presidential inaction on the war against drugs during the prior Administration, we applaud President Bush for his steady commitment to reducing drug use among teens. The Administration recently exceeded its two-year goal of reducing drug use among young people. The most recent survey shows an 11 percent drop between 2001 and 2003 in the use of illicit drugs by teenagers. Among teens, some drugs- such as LSD- have dropped to record-low levels of use. For other drugs, we are seeing the lowest levels of use in almost a decade.
      •  To continue this progress, we must ensure that jail time is used as an effective deterrent to drug use and support the continued funding of grants to assist schools in drug testing. At the same time, we should make drug treatment available to people willing to take the courageous step of admitting they have a problem and working hard to overcome it. The President's Access to Recovery (ATR) program is giving individuals seeking drug treatment expanded access to effective providers through a new voucher program.
    •  Leading the Fight against HIV/AIDS - At Home and Abroad
      •  We recognize the unique and special vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection from abusive and coercive behavior beyond their control and encourage expanded efforts to address this problem through legal and cultural reform. We also support more efforts to eradicate sex trafficking and prostitution and their underlying causes.
    •  Supporting Humane and Legal Immigration
      •  The Republican Party supports reforming the immigration system to ensure that it is legal, safe, orderly and humane.
      •  This new program would allow workers who currently hold jobs to come out of the shadows and to participate legally in America's economy.
      •  There must be strong workplace enforcement with tough penalties against employees and employers who violate immigration laws. We oppose amnesty because it would have the effect of encouraging illegal immigration and would give an unfair advantage to those who have broken our laws.
      •  In addition, Border Patrol agents now have sweeping new powers to deport illegal aliens without having first to go through the cumbersome process of allowing the illegal alien to have a hearing before an immigration judge. We support these efforts to enforce the law while welcoming immigrants who enter America through legal avenues.
  •  Protecting Our Families
    •  Protecting Family Privacy
      •  Identity theft is one of the fastest growing financial crimes in our nation. Last year alone, nearly 10 million Americans had their identities stolen by criminals who robbed them and the nation's businesses of nearly $50 billion through fraudulent transactions. The crime of identity theft undermines the basic trust on which our economy depends. And like other forms of stealing, identity theft leaves the victim poorer and feeling terribly violated.
      •  We praise President Bush and Republicans in Congress for passing the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which established a national system of fraud detection so that identity thieves can be stopped before they run up tens of thousands of dollars in illegal purchases. Thanks to this law, victims can make one phone call to report the crime to alert all three major credit rating agencies and to protect their credit ratings. We further praise President Bush and Republicans in Congress for passing the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, which provides a real deterrent by toughening the prison sentences for those who use identity theft to commit other crimes, including terrorism. It reflects our government's resolve to answer serious offenses with serious penalties. And we praise President Bush for the broader effort he has waged to prevent identity theft. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, and Secret Service are working with local and state officials to crack down on the criminal networks that are responsible for much of the identity theft that occurs in America. The Federal Trade Commission is training local law enforcement in the detection of identity theft and has set up the ID Theft Data Clearinghouse, which keeps track of complaints across the country and provides those records to prosecutors seeking to take down organized identity theft rings.
    •  Protecting Children from Obscenity and Exploitation
      •  We applaud the Congress for passing, and the President for signing, the Protect Act. As the President said, this law "will greatly assist law enforcement in tracking criminals who would harm our children, and will greatly help in rescuing the youngest victims of crime." The law formally established a national Amber Alert coordinator in the Department of Justice to help facilitate efforts to find missing children. It also added important tools to fight child exploitation by making obscene images of children, even those created with computer technology, illegal. We agree that strengthening the laws against child abuse will protect our children, help preserve the family structure, and promote a healthy environment in which our children can grow.

Republican Strong but Fair Criminal Justice Values


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Last modified: June 15, 2015