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Privacy & the Constitution

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by TomVols, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    Does the Constitution guarantee a right to privacy for its citizens? This was brought up on another thread, and there's a diverse opinion on this subject. I look forward to a good discussion.
     
  2. billwald

    billwald New Member

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    No. The Constitution only guarantees privacy in one's home, not one's place of business or in public.
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    That's the 4th Amendment:
    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    Courts have recognized other constitutional limits to government intrusion. In the 1920s, Nebraska's ban on foreign language instruction and Oregon's ban on private schooling were found to violate parents' fundamental right to direct their childrens' education, based on the 14th Amendment's "due process" guarantee. States could not run roughshod over rights people rightly assume they have. A few justices cited the 10th Amendment ("powers...reserved...to the people") as well.
    Ironically, decades later the nebulous reasoning of these family autonomy rulings was twisted into individual rights of privacy for abortion and sodomy, suddenly discovered in the "penumbra" of the Bill of Rights.

    There are also non-constitutional common law (invasion of privacy) and legislative (health information, telemarketer no-call list) privacy protections.
     
  4. carpro

    carpro Well-Known Member
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    The 14th Amendment has been used to excuse all kinds of judicial legislation.
     
  5. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg New Member

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    Wasn't the so-called "Right to Privacy" one of the principal bases of the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling?
     
  6. carpro

    carpro Well-Known Member
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    [FONT=VERDANA, ARIAL, HELVETICA][SIZE=-1]"Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the majority opinion, stated that the Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to privacy but, "in varying contexts the Court or individual justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right." The right to an abortion was then considered an extension of this privacy right. As Blackmun stated,"This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." This decision made it unconstitutional for any state to restrict abortion in most circumstances." [/SIZE][/FONT]
     
  7. billwald

    billwald New Member

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    In other words, a right to privacy should be objectional to strict constructionists.
     
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