Saturday, June 7, 2008

Constitutional Amendment Time: Privacy Right must be codified

I'm all for proper security at airports, but this story from USA Today kind of pisses me off.

The Supreme Court has stated that we have a reasonable expectation of privacy. I personally don't like the thought of someone looking at my naked body with a scanner.

Likewise, I am willing to risk traveling with people who are unscanned. That's the price of living in a free society--risk.

I've argued for years that we need a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy. It would be an easy sell.

Those of you unaware of this might find pause: We have no explicit right to privacy. Our right to privacy was derived from Court cases. So, when you complain about "activist" judges, remember: If it wasn't for "activist" judges, you would have no right to privacy.

If we have a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing a right to privacy, then our rights cannot be eroded by a change on the Supreme Court.

Why do I find this important? The more conservative justices take the view that rights are something to be paid for, viz., the more money you have, the more rights you get. So, if you don't want to pay for a right of, say privacy, then you don't get it.

I disagree with that approach because the founders based our Constitution on the assumption of rights, whether those rights actually exist or not.

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