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Bob Barr

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Bob Barr

Bob Barr
Barr in 2008
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from 7th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Buddy Darden
Succeeded by John Linder
Personal details
Born Robert Laurence Barr, Jr.
(1948-11-05) November 5, 1948
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican (1968–2004, 2011–present)
Other political
Spouse(s) First spouse name unknown, married in college and divorced in 1976
Second spouse Gail Barr (1976–1986)
Third spouse Jeri Dobbin (m. 1986)[1][2]
Children 4[3][4]
Residence Smyrna, Georgia
Alma mater University of Southern California
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Religion Methodist[3]

Robert Laurence "Bob" Barr, Jr.[5] (born November 5, 1948) is a former federal prosecutor and a former member of the Republican from 1995 to 2003.[6][7] Barr attained national prominence as one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.[6] Barr joined the Libertarian Party in 2006[8] and served on its National Committee.[9] He was the Libertarian Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.[10]


  • Early life 1
    • Early career 1.1
  • Congressional career 2
    • Political positions in Congress 2.1
      • War on drugs 2.1.1
      • Same-sex marriage 2.1.2
      • Terrorism 2.1.3
      • War in Iraq 2.1.4
      • Religious freedom 2.1.5
      • Economic freedom 2.1.6
    • Waco hearings 2.2
    • Role in Clinton impeachment 2.3
    • Controversies over Barr's personal conduct 2.4
  • Criticism of Bush Administration 3
    • Departure from Republican Party 3.1
  • Political associations 4
    • Libertarian Party 4.1
    • Marijuana Policy Project 4.2
    • American Freedom Agenda 4.3
    • Liberty Guard 4.4
  • Other activities 5
    • Publications and commentary 5.1
    • Advising former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier 5.2
  • 2008 presidential campaign 6
  • Return to Republican Party 7
    • Aborted 2012 Congressional Campaign 7.1
    • Endorsement of Newt Gingrich for President 7.2
    • 2014 Congressional campaign 7.3
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Barr was born on November 5, 1948, in Iowa City, Iowa,[6] to Bob and Beatrice Barr.[11] His father, a West Point soldier,[11][12] moved the family to various locations around the world while pursuing his career in civil engineering.[11][13] The second of six children, Bob Jr. spent his boyhood in Malaysia, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Baghdad,[14] and finally Tehran, Iran, where he graduated from Community High School in 1966.[6][11][13]

Barr returned to the United States, attending the University of Southern California and joining the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in 1967 (where as of 2013 he holds the position of Grand Prytanis on the fraternity's Grand Council).[15]

During this time, Barr's mother introduced him to the work of Ayn Rand.[11][13] This fostered a new-found appreciation for conservatism and prompted Barr to join the Young Trojan Republican Club.[11][13] Barr completed his B.A., cum laude,[16] from University of Southern California in 1970.[6] Barr married his first wife while still in college.[11] They divorced in 1976.[1]

Early career

Barr earned a

Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Badnarik
Libertarian Party Presidential candidate
Succeeded by
Gary Johnson
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Buddy Darden
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from John Linder
Succeeded by
  • Library of Congress web archive of 2002 campaign website
  • Official 2008 Presidential Campaign website
  • Campaign page at YouTube
  • Candidate profile at Project Vote Smart
  • Issue positions and quotes at
  • Campaign contributions of The Bob Barr Leadership Fund from the FEC
  • Bob Barr, "Why I Want to be President" at
  • Presidential campaign FEC disclosure report
Presidential campaign
  • Official website
  • Political Collections at the University of West Georgia
  • Bob Barr finding aid at the University of West Georgia
  • Bob Barr Artifacts finding aid at the University of West Georgia
  • Liberty Strategies Barr's consulting firm
  • Liberty Guard Barr's blog
  • Bob Barr at DMOZ
  • Appearances on C-SPAN

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Items 8 and 12 of this reference have obvious typos of year – should read 1983 and 1984 respectively, not 1963 and 1964.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b c d e f
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  7. ^ a b c d e
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d e f g
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c d
  14. ^ a b c d e f g
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ Gail Barr's 1999 afffidavit states their eldest son was three years old in March 1983, implying a birthday range of about April 1979 to March 1980. Bob Barr states their eldest son is 18 years old during his January 1999 Larry King Live interview, which implies a birthday range of February 1980 to January 1981. The overlap between these two statements suggests the eldest was born in either February or March 1980.
  19. ^ Congressman Barr lowers the boom Insight on the News
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b Interview on WAYY Radio, Wisconsin
  26. ^ Interview on WGST radio, Atlanta, Georgia.
  27. ^ WSB 750AM Radio, Georgia
  28. ^ a b
  29. ^ a b c d e
  30. ^ a b c d
  31. ^ a b c d
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b c d e
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^ a b
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ a b c
  45. ^ Marijuana Policy Project v. D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (United States District Court for the District of Columbia 2002-03-22). Text
  46. ^
  47. ^ Marijuana Policy Project v. United States of America (United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 2002-09-19). Text
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ The Defense of Marriage Act PBS
  54. ^ Bob Barr Nomination Speech, May 25, 2008, Libertarian National Convention, Denver, Colorado.
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^ Testimony of Bob Barr on Senate Judiciary Committee, September 22, 2004
  59. ^ a b
  60. ^ Congressional Record
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^ Press Releases: Tell Iraqis No Permanent Bases, Says Bob Barr, Bob Barr 208 campaign site, June 3, 2008.
  64. ^ The "Burning Times Award" given to U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia
  65. ^ a b
  66. ^ Ramesh Ponnuru, Hearing impaired – hearings on Whitewater and Waco, National Review, August 28, 1995.
  67. ^ NSA Kabuki Theatre: Though Same-Party Oversight Led to Weak Hearings on NSA Wiretapping, Some Important Facts Did Come Through, Bob Barr, February 9, 2006.
  68. ^ James Bovard, The Fires of Waco Are Still Burning, March 1998.
  69. ^ Testimony Submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Post-9/11: Freedoms Preserved or Freedoms Lost by Bob Barr, 21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union, November 18, 2003.
  70. ^ House Resolution 304, 105th Congress
  71. ^ Congressman Barr lowers the boom Insight on the News
  72. ^ McCaffrey, Shannon. Will Bob Barr be the Ralph Nader of '08? Associated Press (via CBS News), 2008-06-22.
  73. ^ Congressional Record of Clinton impeachment debate
  74. ^ "Gatekeepers Without Gates" by Alicia C. Shepard, AJR, March 1999.
  75. ^ "Gail Barr Affidavit"
  76. ^ "Raising the Barr" The Economist 2008-05-29. Retrieved on 2008-06-13.
  77. ^ Bob Barr, the Master of a Curious Universe, Monday, August 18, 2008; Page C01
  78. ^ a b Bob Barr speech, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, October 28, 2008
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^ NRA 2007 Official Ballot, up for re-election of a three year term
  86. ^ Future of Freedom Foundation:Restoring the Republic:Foreign Policy & Civil Liberties/Speakers:Bob Barr, Accessed 2008-05-13
  87. ^
  88. ^ a b c
  89. ^ a b c
  90. ^ a b
  91. ^ a b
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^ For example, see Federalist No. 45.
  95. ^ Charlie Savage: Disaffected conservatives set a litmus test for '08. In Boston Globe, June 12, 2007.
  96. ^ Liberty And Security Initiative:Members,
  97. ^
  98. ^ "Former Congressman Bob Barr joins KSU as adjunct professor", January 10, 2008
  99. ^ Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Sequence 0:23:30 to 0:24:00
  100. ^
  101. ^
  102. ^ "Mission Statement"
  103. ^ "About"
  104. ^
  105. ^ Barr, Bob. Boston police jump gun with ‘Safe Homes’. February 27, 2008.
  106. ^ Bob Barr Biography,
  107. ^ Copeland, Libby (2008-08-18) "Bob Barr, the Master of a Curious Universe", Washington Retrieved on 2008-09-11
  108. ^ BARR: No war for Georgia Washington Times August 21, 2008
  109. ^ Wallace, Julia. "AJC Changes". March 7, 2008.
  110. ^
  111. ^ a b Former U.S. lawmaker assisting Duvalier, CNN
  112. ^
  113. ^
  114. ^
  115. ^
  116. ^
  117. ^
  118. ^
  119. ^ a b c
  120. ^
  121. ^ Who's Getting Your Vote?, Reason
  122. ^ Bob Barr Welcomes Election Contest With Barack Obama and John McCain – Urges Weekly Debates Yahoo News
  123. ^
  124. ^ CBN News Bob Barr to Brody File: McCain is a "Big Government Republican" July 8, 2008 Archived August 14, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  125. ^
  126. ^
  127. ^
  128. ^ Zogby International Poll
  129. ^ Zogby Poll: Majority Want Libertarian Bob Barr Included in Presidential Debates,
  130. ^ [1], Bob Barr Files Suit in Texas to Remove McCain, Obama from Ballot
  131. ^ (2008-09-23) "Texas Supreme Court rejects Barr request", Dallas
  132. ^ Barr, Bob (2008-10-02) No more government guarantees: "Solutions to the bailout's lessons learned", Washington Retrieved on 2008-10-02
  133. ^
  134. ^ a b
  135. ^
  136. ^
  137. ^
  138. ^
  139. ^ Bob Barr Heads to GOP Runoff to Win House Seat
  140. ^


[140] Barr lost the runoff to Loudermilk by a nearly 2:1 margin.[139] Barr held a news conference on March 28, 2013 at

2014 Congressional campaign

In an interview with The Daily Caller, he endorsed and encouraged libertarians to support Newt Gingrich's campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, much to the surprise of many minarchist libertarians who assumed he would support Texas Congressman Ron Paul.[136]

Endorsement of Newt Gingrich for President

Barr had expressed interest in running for Congress again as a Republican in Smyrna, in Cobb County, for many years, but has told several friends he plans to move to Paulding County.[135] Despite strong polling numbers, Barr chose to abandon his plans for running, citing concern on the potential impact it would have on his law firm and family.[134]

Aborted 2012 Congressional Campaign

Following his statement that he would not challenge the Republican incumbent in the 2012 primary race for [134]

Return to Republican Party

On November 4, 2008, Barr received 523,686 votes, <1% of the national vote[133]

Among his campaign positions, Barr distinguished himself strongly from Obama and McCain by opposing the financial bailout bill.[132]

On September 17, 2008, Barr filed suit in Texas to remove both McCain and Obama from the ballot. Both political parties failed to file their nominees by the deadline.[130] On September 23, 2008, the Texas Supreme Court rejected the request without giving a reason for its decision.[131]

A Zogby poll released on August 15, 2008, indicated that most Republican and Democratic voters wanted Barr to be included in the presidential debates. The poll also indicated that almost 70% of independent voters would have liked to see him included.[129]

Barr appeared on the ballot in 45 states.[125] In July, he filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma for its unusually restrictive ballot access laws,[126] which he contends are contrary to the First Amendment right to petition one's government for a redress of grievances.[127] In July, a Zogby poll had Barr receiving 6% of the vote nationwide, as well as double digits in several states.[128]

Many opinion leaders predicted that Barr could siphon off conservative votes that would have otherwise gone to McCain. John Linder, who defeated Barr for the Republican nomination in a 2002 congressional race, said that Barr could cause serious problems for McCain in some states.[123] Barr repeatedly rejected this assertion as scapegoating, responding that small-government Republicans would not vote for McCain anyway, nor would civil liberties advocates vote for Obama.[124]

On June 4, 2008, Barr invited the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee, John McCain, and the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee, Barack Obama, to weekly presidential debates through an official press release.[122]

On May 25, 2008, Barr became the 2008 Libertarian presidential nominee after six rounds of voting at the 2008 Libertarian convention. He beat Mary Ruwart in the final round of voting, with 324 delegates to Ruwart's 276, with 26 none-of-the-above votes.[120] Barr had received the endorsement of Wayne Allyn Root, one of his rivals for the nomination, after Root was eliminated following the fifth round of balloting. Barr, in turn, endorsed Root for the party's vice presidential nomination, which he received. Reason magazine senior editor Radley Balko called Barr "the first serious candidate the LP has run since I've been eligible to vote."[121]

Following his announcement, Rasmussen Reports had Barr polling at 6% nationwide against Barack Obama (42%), John McCain (38%), and Ralph Nader (4%).[119] The study identified Barr as the Libertarian candidate, but most voters said they didn't know enough about him to have an opinion of him personally.[119] Barr's support in the poll was a net drain on Republicans; he picked up 7% of the Republican vote, 5% of the Democratic vote, and 5% of the unaffiliated vote.[119]

Bob Barr speaks in October 2008.

In early 2008, rumors circulated that Barr was considering a presidential run under the Libertarian Party banner. Activists began a Facebook group dedicated to drafting Barr into the nomination contest,[112] and Barr later confirmed his interest.[113] He launched a presidential exploratory committee and campaign website[114] on April 5,[115] and formally announced his candidacy[116] for the Libertarian nomination on May 12.[117] His announcement came a mere ten days before the start of the Libertarian Party Convention, where delegates select the presidential candidate.[118]

2008 presidential campaign

In 2011, Barr traveled to Haiti to lobby on behalf of "former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier."[111] According to Barr, "he is not serving as Duvalier's attorney, but is in Port-au-Prince to consult, assist and be Duvalier's voice to the international community."[111]

Advising former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier

Barr publishes a regular blog known as the Barr code.[110]

On March 7, 2009, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced that Barr would be a weekly columnist for the paper.[109]

In October 2008, Barr gave a one-hour talk with answers to audience questions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Carnegie Mellon University.

In August 2008, Barr criticized the United States' response to the conflict between Russia and [108]

Barr hosted a political talk radio show on Radio America called Bob Barr's Laws of the Universe.[106] He has stated that he plans to write a book with that title.[107]

[105] In 2008, in his column "The Barr Code", he lambasted the new policy of Boston police of allowing warrantless search for firearms in teenagers' homes.[104][34], an Creative Loafing (Atlanta) He briefly wrote a regular column for

Barr authored the 2004 book The Meaning of Is: The Squandered Impeachment and Wasted Legacy of William Jefferson Clinton (ISBN 978-0974537627).

Publications and commentary

Barr is listed as the President of the [102][103]

Barr endorsed the Free State Project on July 22, 2008 saying, "I think it's tremendous!"[100][101]

Barr appeared in the mock documentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. He met with "Borat" (portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen) in the United States Capitol where he was given cheese that Borat described as being made from his wife's breast milk.[99]

In early 2008, Barr became an adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University and was scheduled to teach a course on privacy rights titled "Privacy and Public Policy in 21st Century Business and Society."[98]

Other activities

Barr is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Liberty Guard,[97] an IRS 501(c)4 organization, which states its mission is to protect and defend individual liberty.

Liberty Guard

Barr is one of the four founders of the American Freedom Agenda, which is described as "a coalition established to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the executive branch." The American Freedom Agenda has established a 10-point Freedom Pledge for presidential candidates to confirm their commitment to civil liberties.[95] He is also a member of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee.[96]

American Freedom Agenda

It's very rare to find someone who's willing to change their position and then be so public about it. [Barr has] definitely increased the credibility of the Marijuana Policy Project. People have to take us seriously when we walk through the door with Bob Barr.
Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project, May 2008[88]

Barr's reversal on drug policy surprised many, particularly MPP.[91] His new-found appreciation for harm reduction was heartily welcomed:

Barr has been careful to note that he isn't pro-drug, but rather against government intrusion.[89] In interviews he has expressed the nuanced position of simultaneously opposing legalization, yet advocating the federalist ideals of State legislation and enforcement over Federal control.[93][94]

In Congress, Barr's strong stance against medical marijuana put him at odds with marijuana policy reformers such as the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Despite this historic antagonism, in March 2007, Barr reversed his stance on medical marijuana[89] and began lobbying on behalf of MPP.[90][91] This new partnership saw Barr working to repeal his very own "Barr Amendment"[88] – the amendment[89] that overturned a voter-approved medical marijuana initiative in Washington, D.C.[90] and bars consideration of similar initiatives.[92]

Marijuana Policy Project

On December 12, 2006, Barr became a regional representative on the Libertarian National Committee, representing the Party's Southeast Region. Barr said: "I'm happy to announce that I am now a proud, card-carrying Libertarian who is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom."[9]

Libertarian Party

In January 2006, to emphasize the bipartisan nature of the event, Barr planned on introducing Al Gore at a speech co-sponsored by the Liberty Coalition and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy to address what they called the "NSA Spying Scandal", in which Gore compared warrantless wiretapping to the FBI's surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr.[87]

Barr is a commentator on political and social issues and is chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation's '21st Century Center for Privacy and Freedom'.[86]

Barr sat on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association from 2001 to 2007.[85]

Political associations

In 2006, he joined the Libertarian Party as a regional representative, then serving on the Libertarian National Committee.[84]

In the 2004 presidential election, Barr left the Republican Party and publicly endorsed[82] the Libertarian Party presidential nominee Michael Badnarik.[83]

Departure from Republican Party

In 2006, he debated the architect of the Patriot Act, Viet Dinh, on terrorism and privacy issues.[81]

Barr has been a vocal opponent of President wiretap transnational phone calls without individual judicial license. He has said, "What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order."[80]

Since leaving Congress in 2003, Barr has become a vocal opponent of the Patriot Act and has stated that he voted for it reluctantly[14] and regrets voting for it, only agreeing because the Bush administration promised not to attempt to expand the granted powers or use them for non-terrorism purposes, and the administration agreed to report to Congress on their usage.[78] Barr says that the [79] Barr still serves as the group's chairman.

Criticism of Bush Administration

In the early 1990s, Barr was photographed at a fundraising event licking whipped cream off a woman.[76] According to the Washington Post "Two people who observed the act say it wasn't exactly a bosom lick but more like a neckline lick, at the sort of event where business and civic leaders perform dares to raise money. 'Not exactly Mr. Effusive,' says Matt Towery, the former chairman of Newt Gingrich's political organization, who observed the brief and awkward licking. 'You can hardly get the guy to smile.'"[77]

In 1999, during Clinton's impeachment trial, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt offered money to anyone who could provide evidence that a prominent Republican had engaged in an extramarital affair. According to the American Journalism Review,[74] investigators for Flynt said that Barr was "guilty of king-size hypocrisy." In accordance with his public offer, Flynt subsequently paid a sum of money to Gail Barr after she had made an affidavit.[14] Investigators reported that Barr invoked a legal privilege during his 1985 divorce proceeding so he could refuse to answer questions on whether he'd cheated on his second wife with the woman who is now his third."[75]

Controversies over Barr's personal conduct

After the Lewinsky scandal broke, Barr was the first lawmaker in either chamber to call for Clinton's resignation.[72] During debate on the impeachment resolution on the House floor, Barr argued that Clinton's attempt to interfere with Lewinsky's testimony in the Paula Jones case endangered the Constitution. In doing so, Barr said, Clinton violated what Barr called a "fundamental right" of any American citizen – "the unshakable right each one of us has to walk into a courtroom and demand the righting of a wrong."[73]

Barr is best known for his role as one of the House managers during the Clinton impeachment trial. It was Barr who first introduced a resolution directing the House Judiciary Committee to inquire into impeachment proceedings[70] – months before the Monica Lewinsky scandal came to light. Foremost among the concerns Barr cited at the time was apparent obstruction of Justice Department investigations into Clinton campaign fundraising from foreign sources, chiefly the People's Republic of China.[71]

Role in Clinton impeachment

The National Review described Barr as one of the few people able to "ask effective questions and make clear points" while questioning government witnesses during the 1995 House Waco siege hearings on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Federal Bureau of Investigation actions against the Branch Davidians in 1993, sponsored by subcomittees of the House Judiciary Committee and Government Reform and Oversight Committee.[66] Barr has written: "The hearing was a farce: a virtual lovefest, during which members of the Clinton Administration responded to softball questions from their colleagues in the House with superficial answers, and Republican queries were ignored or glossed over with disdain, if not outright contempt."[67] Barr called for Congress to reopen investigations, but senior House Republicans refused.[68] In 2003 testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Barr wrote: "[T]here remains time to turn back the constitutional clock and roll back excessive post-9/11 powers before we turn the corner into another Japanese internment or, closer to our own experiences, before we witness a legally sanctioned Ruby Ridge or Waco scenario."[69]

Waco hearings

He also favors drastic reductions in government spending and the elimination of corporate welfare.[65]

Barr advocates the repeal of the 16th Amendment, which gives the U.S. Congress the power to levy an income tax without apportionment. As an alternative, he proposes a form of consumption tax, such as the FairTax.[65]

Economic freedom

In Congress, he also proposed that the Pentagon ban the practice of Wicca in the military.[34][64]

Religious freedom

In 2002 Barr voted for the Iraq Resolution.[62] He has since called for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, leaving no permanent military bases. A press release from Barr's presidential campaign stated: "The next president should commit to a speedy and complete withdrawal from Iraq, and tell the Iraqi people that the U.S. troops will be going home."[63]

War in Iraq

He voted for the first USA PATRIOT Act,[58] but only after his amendments adding "sunset clauses" were added to the final bill.[59] Barr played a similar role during the debate over Bill Clinton's Comprehensive Anti-terrorism Act of 1995, crafting pro-civil liberties amendments to the original text.[60] He now publicly regrets[34] his Patriot Act vote.[61]


He now supports same-sex marriage,[55] opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, contending it is a violation of states' rights,[56] and supports the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.[57]

Barr took a lead in legislative debate concerning same-sex marriage. He authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, a law enacted in 1996 which states that only marriages that are between a man and a woman can be federally recognized, and individual states may choose not to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state.[53] At the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, he apologized for the part of the Defense of Marriage Act which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.[54]

Same-sex marriage

Barr would later reverse his position on medical marijuana, joining MPP as a lobbyist five years later. In a June 4, 2008, interview with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report, Barr confirmed that he now supports ending marijuana prohibition, as well as the War on Drugs for which he once vehemently fought.[51] In 2009, he was hired by the MPP to lobby to successfully overturn the amendment that he authored.[52]

The federal government later prevailed on appeal,[47] reinstating the Barr Amendment just in time to thwart MPP's initiative 63 – "The Medical Marijuana Initiative of 2002" – which had already qualified for the November 2002 ballot.[48][49] In 2009, both the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to lift the ban against a medical marijuana initiative, effectively overturning the Barr Amendment.[50]

Clearly, the court today has ignored the constitutional right and responsibility of Congress to pass laws protecting citizens from dangerous and addictive narcotics, and the right of Congress to exert legislative control over the District of Columbia as the nation's capital.
— Bob Barr, March 28, 2002[46]

Barr advocated complete federal prohibition of medical marijuana. In 1998, he successfully blocked implementation of Initiative 59[37] – the "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998" – which would have legalized medical marijuana in Washington, D.C.[38] The "Barr Amendment" to the 1999 Omnibus spending bill not only blocked implementation of Initiative 59, but also prohibited the vote tally from even being released.[38][39] Nearly a year passed before a lawsuit[40] filed by the American Civil Liberties Union eventually revealed the initiative had received 69 percent of the vote.[41] In response to the judge's ruling,[42] Barr simply attached another "Barr Amendment" to the 2000 Omnibus spending bill that overturned Initiative 59 outright.[43] The Barr Amendment also prohibited future laws that would "decrease the penalties for marijuana or other Schedule I drugs" in Washington, D.C.[44] This preemptively blocked future attempts by Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) to reform marijuana laws in DC via the initiative process.[44] In March 2002, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan struck down this portion of the Barr Amendment as being an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.[44][45] Barr's response to the ruling was defiant:

Barr was originally a strong supporter of the War on Drugs, reflecting his previous experience as an Anti-Drug Coordinator for the United States Department of Justice.[6] While in Congress, he was a member of the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America.[35] This task force was established in 1998 by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich to "design a World War II-style victory plan to save America's children from illegal drugs."[36] The task force crafted legislation specifically designed to "win the War on Drugs by 2002".[36]

War on drugs

During his tenure, Barr was regarded as one of the most conservative members of Congress.[34] In 2002, he was described by Bill Shipp in an article as "the idol of the gun-toting, abortion-fighting, Bush administration's policies on privacy and other civil liberties after the 9/11 attacks was unusual among House Republicans (see Criticism of Bush Administration below).[29] This criticism earned Barr other labels such as "Maverick",[29] "Jekyll-and-Hyde",[35] and "Libertarian".[31]

Political positions in Congress

The LP has a historic opportunity to present itself as a viable alternative to the big parties, instead of spending its money and energy trying to defeat one of libertarianism's few friends in Congress just because they disagree with him on one issue.
— J. Bradley Jansen, vice chair of the Libertarian Party in the District of Columbia, Liberty (August 2002)[31]

However, some individuals within these groups lamented Barr's defeat as a setback for privacy rights[33] and libertarian causes in general.[31] Libertarian J. Bradley Jansen opined:

With this victory, we have fired a warning shot for every drug warrior in Congress to hear. And any member of Congress – Democrat or Republican – who introduces legislation to make federal drug laws even more oppressive could be next on our list.
— Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian Party Political Director, August 2002[30]

Barr's defeat was applauded by many Democrats and Libertarians. Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project called it "glorious news".[32] Ron Crickenberger, producer of the TV ads, was quick to warn other supporters of the War on Drugs:

John Linder. The new district was numerically Barr's district – the 7th – but contained most of the territory from Linder's old 11th District. This move profited Democrats by leading to the inevitable defeat of an incumbent Republican (i.e., either Barr or Linder).[29] Recognizing Barr's precarious situation, the Libertarian Party seized on the opportunity to oust one of the federal drug war's most vocal proponents (Barr), and ran TV ads criticizing Barr's opposition to medical marijuana during the Republican primaries.[30] Barr was soundly defeated by a 2-to-1 margin.[30] The extent to which the issue of medical marijuana shaped the election is unclear. Some have argued that Barr's huge loss simply reflected the nature of the new 7th district, which was primarily redrawn from Linder's old 11th district.[28] However, before the medical marijuana ads were aired,[30] the Linder campaign acknowledged the race as being tight;[31] and Pat Gartland, southeastern director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saw the race as "too close to call".[29]

In Congress, Barr became famous for his "dour" image and told constituents, "You don't send me to Washington to smile."[14] He also said in a radio interview "If it's not in the Constitution, I won't smile".[25] He later explained "I don't consider politicians who smile to be worth a heck of a lot... all things considered, it doesn't make a dime's worth of difference if the politicians in Washington smile or not, what matters is how much of your hard-earned dollars they take to spend in pure pork".[26] Barr said in 2010 "I can see a situation where the federal government is going to bring an entire suitcase of San Francisco values to the American family, and while I would love to explain all the things that are wrong with that, the fact is that this is a corrupting, left-leaning, influence on a section of society that so many liberal elites want to see taken out of the 'red state' column. The only solution to this kind of behavior is dour and austere social conservatism, like my own".[25] Adding to his image, Barr has frequently protested about "cult hairstyles", saying "I cannot abide by people who adopt a cult hairstyle, or persistently dress inappropriately for meetings with me".[27]

Barr was later re-elected three times, serving from 1995 to 2003.[6] While in Congress, Barr served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee,[7] and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Veteran's Affairs.[3][7]

Barr was elected to the 104th United States Congress. Barr was one of 73 Republican freshmen ushered into Congress in that election.[22] The election became known as the "Republican Revolution" because it resulted in the first Republican House majority in 40 years – since the 1955 adjournment of the 83rd Congress.[23][24]

Barr sought the Republican Party nomination for U.S. Senate in 1992, but lost the primary election to Paul Coverdell.[21] The primary was very close, with Barr losing by fewer than 1,600 votes in a runoff election.[21] Subsequently, Coverdell came in behind incumbent Senator Wyche Fowler in the general election, but the 3% showing by a Libertarian candidate (Jim Hudson) forced a runoff, which Coverdell won.

Barr during the 107th Congress (2001–2003)

Congressional career

[20]".free enterprise system, and the economic freedom, individual limited government an Atlanta-based law firm and policy center that litigates in support of "[6] who ultimately served a year in prison on the charges. From 1990 to 1991, Barr was president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation,[19],Pat Swindall indictment on then-sitting Republican Congressman perjury, and got a Medellin drug cartel Barr's office prosecuted state and local officials, members of the [6] In 1986, Barr was appointed by President

It's unclear which, if any, of these children are issue from their marriage. [4] Bob Barr's web site stated in 2008 that Jeri and he have four children and six grandchildren.[4] who was later known as Jeri Barr.[2][1] In 1986 Barr married his third wife, Jerilyn Dobbins,[1] After leaving the CIA, Barr moved to

[2][1] Gail and Bob Barr divorced in 1986.[17][1] and 1981.[18][17][1] They have two children together, both boys, born in 1980[1] Barr married his second wife, Gail, in 1976.[14][7][3] (CIA) as an analyst of Latin American issues.Central Intelligence Agency) to 1978, Barr was employed by the [6] From 1971 (1970?[6][3] in 1977.[14]

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