The Right to Privacy In America

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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The Right to Privacy In America

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With the imminent retirement of Justice Stevens another Justice will be appointed – by the President with advice and consent of the Senate.  The Supreme Court is the third branch of government, charged with looking over the other two to insure the boundaries of the Constitution are not violated.  This is no simple task in a constantly changing America.  For instance, the general public changed some ideas about legal protection after the terrorist attacks on September, 11, 2001.

As our country has matured we have recognized the need for more specific guarantees of rights – most notably in the cases of race and gender.  These issues are either settled by the Supreme Court or Constitutional Amendment.  The right to Privacy has been a hot topic since Roe V. Wade granted the right to privacy to women who choose abortion.

The right to Privacy was fist extolled by a Supreme Court Justice in 1890 when Justice Louis Brandeis proclaimed, “a right to be left alone.”  The ideal of Privacy was directly declared in 1966 when the Supreme Court ruled that a bedroom was protected by the right to privacy.  It was six years later before the lid blew off the pressure cooker with Roe V. Wade.

We will attempt here to demonstrate that the Constitution does, in fact, guarantee the right to Privacy – it should not be an issue in Senate confirmation hearings for a new Justice. This right is implied in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

Here are a few reference sites used in this post, UMKC Law School, Cornell University Law School, and Wikipedia.

Amendment I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment III:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
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 IX:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment XIX:
…. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws….
It is clear to this writer, as it has been to numerous court rulings, that privacy is guaranteed by the Constitution.  We are not advocating abortion with this position – we are advocating that a woman and her family physician know more about what is best than the U. S. Government.
But you see the dilemma.  There are real consequences to words used in legal jargon.  There are real consequences to words publicly proclaimed by organized groups – and by individuals.  The ‘for instance’ here is in the mutterings and grumblings of the modern radical right wing suggesting a bloody ‘revolution’ in America.

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We believe President Obama has a sound mind, is properly educated, and has the clear authority to appoint a Justice of his choosing.  We have faith he will exercise the highest level of judgement.

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