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Sunday, February 12, 2017
What Rights Will the Left Take Away (or Make Up) Next?
I just got a funny email about the difference between Republicans and Democrats, purportedly by Jeff Foxworthy. It's been around for a while and isn't likely Foxworthy's doing, but it's really quite cute, as it captures the essence that distinguishes the two.
Here's a sample:
If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
We are currently bombarded with claims of rights to
admission to the country, health care, free abortions, not be offended, a secondary education, a job paying $17 an hour...
As the list demonstrates, nearly every "right" the left imposes actually requires that someone else do something or give up something, foisting a form of servitude on someone else. To a leftist, a right is an entitlement – an obligation on someone else to give him something, or not exercise his own right.
But really, what ought to be the nature of rights in America?
For conservatives, rights of the people are set forth in our Constitution. We have, for instance:
the First Amendment: right of the people to peaceably assemble, the Second Amendment: right of the people to keep and bear arms, and the Fourth Amendment: right of the people to be secure ... against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Then we have provisions to ensure that the federal government cannot grow beyond certain boundaries and take rights that benefit the people:
the Ninth Amendment: enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people and the Tenth Amendment: powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution ... are reserved to the States ... or to the people.
For conservatives, the Constitution's enumeration is just fine.
For leftists, funny things happen with certain rights, one of which is clearly established in the Constitution and one of which is not.
First, let's talk about the right to bear arms.
Until 2008 and the Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), it had never been clearly established that the "right" attached to individuals (i.e., "the people"). Leftists held the opinion, as did four of the nine Supreme Court justices, that the Second Amendment protected only a state militia from being disarmed by the federal government.
Justice Stevens opined in his dissent, regarding James Madison's early drafts of the amendment, "[I]t is clear that he considered and rejected formulations that would have unambiguously protected civilian uses of firearms."
This, even though no one has ever doubted that every other reference in the Constitution and its amendments to "the people" means exactly that.
Second, let's look at abortion.
In Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the Supreme Court invalidated state laws that prohibited abortions on the theory that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution provided a woman with a right to privacy in her body. I'm not here arguing whether a woman should or should not be able to abort a baby. The point I make is that such a right simply is not anywhere set forth in the Constitution. Anywhere. So, to get the result it wanted, the court invented a "right" out of thin air.
This new "constitutional" right is so important to the left that they are seeking, with every ounce of strength, to crush President Trump's current Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, because his confirmation would ensure a conservative vote on such issues.
While we're at it, let's look at one more "right": the president's right to exclude potential immigrants.
Here is a quick summary from Nathaniel M. Gorton's order in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts:
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) ... was originally enacted in 1952 and ... governs immigration, naturalization, refugee assistance and removal procedures and defines the circumstances that govern the admission of aliens into the United States. The relevant provision of the INA provides that:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. 8 U.S.C. 1182(f).
Courts have so uniformly held that the president's power in this area is absolute that the concept is enshrined at the Center for Immigration Studies. And liberals have voraciously fought for Obama utilizing exactly that power. Just recall what Arizona went through when it tried to protect its borders as Obama refused to enforce federal immigration law. The results are no more beautifully described than by Ann Coulter:
[T]he entire media erupted in rage at this incursion into the majestic power of the president over immigration. They said it was like living in Nazi Germany!
Oh, and the Supreme Court essentially held that Obama had complete power.
Perhaps we should offer up a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to make liberals happy with us.
Amendment 28: An effectively functioning Planned Parenthood, the right of all people to receive health care and enter America, being necessary to the security of a free State, shall not be infringed.