July 13, 2005
It's a blueprint; not a stone monument
President Bush and his supporters have been pounding home the main qualification they want in a Supreme Court nominee. As Bush noted today, the nominee must be "someone who will sit on that bench and interpret the Constitution and not use the bench from which to legislate."
Wednesday, Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, argued in a Star Opinion page essay that following the Constitution "means no writing in nonexistent constitutional rights from the bench — like that of privacy."
Perhaps these denizens of the right should reread the Constitution.
Even a cursory glance at the Constitution shows it is about the structure of the federal government what it is allowed to do, what its three branches are allowed to do, how lawmakers are to be elected, in short, a blueprint for government, not an enumeration of rights.
The only specific mention of rights comes in the amendments to the Constitution, the first 10, the Bill of Rights, which were not ratified until four years after the Constitution was written and two years after it was ratified. And the Bill of Rights does not grant rights; it specifically tells government what it may not do in relation to rights the Founding Fathers believed were inalienable to all people.
Consider the phrasing of the amendments: "Congress shall make no law," "shall not be infringed," "shall not be violated." These are phrases that restrict what the government can do.
The beauty of the Constitution is its elasticity. With that, it would have been outmoded almost as soon as it was ratified. As we progress, as new forms of communication became available, as technology reached far beyond the horse and buggy, as we become more enlightened as a society and as a free people, new interpretations of how
People on the right, like Lopez, who believe that justices in the Supreme Court legislate from the bench and write in "nonexistent constitutional rights" are those who would restrict rights. No right to privacy? How dare anyone suggest that nonsense. The Fourth Amendment reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." That seems a pretty strong statement that the right to be left alone was one of those inalienable rights the Founding Fathers believed existed.
And if that isn't enough, consider the Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
That surely would incorporate a right to privacy and all other rights the people retain.
Those who argue a justice of the Supreme Court should be a strict constructionist too often want to see rights restricted.
If Bush and his supporters want an honest justice on the Supreme Court, then they should push one who understands the elasticity of the Constitution and one who believes that upholding the rights of individuals is much more important than conforming to the narrow politics of the few.
You will never make a Constitutional scholar.
Where is a right to privacy confered by the Founders in the U.S. Constitution?
In fact, where is it mentioned?
NOWHERE....see I helped you!
It is a contrived right and legislated from the bench.
The President won't appoint a Leftie Justice to SCOTUS and you will just have to get over it!
You quote the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which does not expressly state "right to privacy", but instead is very precise is stating protections against unreasonable searches and siezures. It is illogical to go from "unreasonable searches and siezures" to an absolute right to privacy.
If the intent was in fact to give everyone a right to privacy, every law on the books that require people to share information with the government is unconstitutional, i.e. income tax, birth records, death records, any form of ID, etc.
I am very pleased we have President Bush at this time and not the confusion of liberal thought in the Executive Office.
C'mon, folks--if your strict Constitutionists, then you don't want the Bill of Rights.
If, on the other hand, you appreciate the Bill of Rights you must recognize they are amendments, then the Constitution can be perfected by interpreting and changing it.
Isn't is scary how these right-wingers think? No wonder they're called 'wackos'? Pay attention children, this is where no education gets you.
Oh well, It's not Fascism when we do it! Eh?
If I had a Constitutionally protected right to privacy the government would be in violation of the Constitution when it asks me to register fire arms that I purchase. I understand the issue in question and comply. If the "public" wants to know who is checking out books on building bombs from a "public" library, I also understand that issue and have no problem with the "public" sharing that with law enforcement.
I may be what you call a "wacko", but I do understand that living in society means that sometimes society has a right to know certain things that should not be kept private by individuals. I think our founding fathers understood that too.
With all due respect, I don't think you have a clue what our founding fathers intended. It's hard to keep up with your party's changing philosophy... I thought the GOP didn't want the government in our life and business? I now see that just meant until the GOP controlled the government. Suddenly now the rules have changed? It's Not Fascism When We Do It!
The South Shall Rise Again!
Wow. I would love it if George Bush Jr. stoood up and echoed you guys. no fundamental right to privacy? that sounds like a winning slogan.
So, when did conservatives give up on the idea of limited government?
I only speak for myself.
There is a balance between individual rights and the responsibilities of being a member of a community. In my view most drug laws are a clear invasion of privacy, but laws against driving under the influence are not - and if there is reasonable cause law enforcement should be able to check to see if a driver is under the influence.
In my view abortion is an issue between a woman and her doctor, however if the baby can survive outside of the womb there is another person invovled, someone who has a right to life.
I do not think minors, people who can not enter into contracts, have a right to privacy when it involves abortion or anyother medical treatment. If a parent is responsible the the minor, the parent has to be involved in the decision.
I give very specific examples of my position, those who disagree seem to make superficial attacks. I guess I am a "wacko" for giving these issues thought.
Darryl, the founding fathers made it difficult to add ammendments to the constitution. The United States Constitution is unusually difficult to amend. As spelled out in Article V, the Constitution can be amended in one of two ways. First, amendment can take place by a vote of two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate followed by a ratification of three-fourths of the various state legislatures (ratification by thirty-eight states would be required to ratify an amendment today). This first method of amendment is the only one used to date. Second, the Constitution might be amended by a Convention called for this purpose by two-thirds of the state legislatures, if the Convention's proposed amendments are later ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Note that legislative branch or the states (by elected officials) can amend the constitution, it should not be up to non-elected judges to stretch the meaning of the constitution to create new meanings, like the "right" to privacy. A "right" to privacy would mean that you could rape and murder someone in the privacy of your home, so reasonably you should be allowed privacy only if you are not breaking a law. Hence reasonable search and seizure.
I write a blog for the star and I have a question, but I can't get anyone to answer it...
Do you guys read these comments? Please e-mail me at
In the 37th Assembly Seat the choices are very obvious. You can have a "religious right" candidate that takes money from big oil, Anheuser Busch, tobacco companies, and horse racing interests like Strickland, or you can go for a decent mild-mannered Republican more likely to actually get a bill passed. You can choose between a candidate that uses fear and smear campaigns like the Tony and Audra duo or a respected community member who won't waste time writing bills to allow pregnant women to ride in the carpool lane to pander to the radical religious zealots hijacking the Republican Party. The choice couldnt be more clear. Bob Larken represents common sense Republicans in Ventura County best.
4:28:47 a.m. on June 2, 2006
PETER MARADONA | Homepage | 06.02.06 - 1:33 am | #
The Strickland are nothing but leeches, sucking money from the taxpayers. Neither one of them has accomplished anything except leaning how to use the system for their personal gain.
As a life long Republican, they are the only two Republicans that I routinely vote against.
Maybe if they had ever held real jobs and had some understanding of life in the working world, they might better represent the people.
Their only concern is stuffing their bank accounts and their huge egos.
Only the Red Star would endorse them!
10:58:15 a.m. on June 2, 2006
RANDY ELLIOTT | Homepage | 06.02.06 - 8:03 am | #
The Star Editorial Board is obviously researching a story on how to make methamphetamines because the fumes are obviously distorting their ability to inject common sense. They seem to basically "live with" the fact that Strickland routinely violates laws. Maybe its age discrimination against Larkin. Then again maybe they like Stricklands stupid antics and figure Larkin won't be as "sexy" to write about. Heck, maybe the same "Free Speach Coalition" (aka porn companies) that contributes to the holy strickland alliance is funding the Star.
Actually all in all this was about the most belatedly/lame sounding endorsement I've ever seen. But, then again maybe its just the meth fumes...