A right is that which is properly due to a person from others based upon nature, law, tradition or moral principle.
Rights confer a legal claim or title upon persons as a matter of justice and morality.
Thomas Jefferson, speaking for America’s founding fathers, wrote in the Declaration of Independence, that natural rights are “self evident truths.” That means that such rights do not arise by the law, nor are they given to persons by governments, but they existed before governments and laws.
They are self evident.
All persons are equal under the law, according to our nation’s founders. (Slaves weren’t considered persons then) We’re simply born with certain self evident natural rights, which include at the core: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The sole purpose of governments, they declared, is to secure these individual rights for the people. Such governments are created by the people and derive all of their just powers from the consent of the people.
So, after the Revolutionary War, “We the People” ratified, i.e. consented to, the United States Constitution which enumerates in detail the limited powers of the three separate branches of our new government; a government conceived for the sole purpose of securing our individual rights.
That original Constitution did not specify or enumerate the exact substance of our individual rights. After all, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that such rights are self evident; therefore it was not thought necessary to do so.
But some of the founders were not completely satisfied with that arrangement. They wanted to make sure that at least some of the most important and fundamental of our individual rights were spelled out and made part of the Constitution so that there might be no mistake about them in the future as the human beings who operate the government exercised their powers.
Human beings given any taste of power have throughout history exhibited a tendency to flagrantly disregard or otherwise ignore the natural rights of persons – especially their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and all that those precious rights entail.
It was that sense of apprehension that prompted the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, which specified in writing the most important of our individual rights, along with many others as well, but not all of them.
The Ninth Amendment in particular states that: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
This important provision of the Bill of Rights seems to have been forgotten by the United States government and the political figures that operate it.
That is so even in the minds of United States Supreme Court justices, many of whom have come to believe that if a certain right is not specified and spelled out in detail in the Constitution then perhaps it does not exist, depending of course, upon whether they want to recognize it or not.
Justice Antonin Scalia, a devout Catholic, who was recently interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, said flat out, for example, that there is no right of privacy in the Constitution, therefore the case of Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and women do not have a constitutional right to abortion.
He would overturn that landmark case in a heartbeat if the decision were up to him and other political conservatives on the bench – Catholics one and all.
Of course, this is the same Justice Scalia who voted with the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission to overturn as unconstitutional the ban on corporate and labor union use of their own funds to produce political campaign advertisements, as well as the ban on issue-oriented ads within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election.
The rights of corporations and labor unions to pay for political ads, and for others to produce issue-oriented ads within close proximity to elections are found nowhere in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, yet Justice Scalia and five of his brothers on the court found and recognized such rights.
They had to interpret their existence as within the scope of the First Amendment Freedom of Speech Clause.
I say that liberty is a natural right more fundamental even than the right to free speech which is derived in substance wholly from the concept of liberty.
A woman’s constitutional right to abortion is derived from her right to liberty. The right to privacy is derived from the fundamental right of liberty. Privacy is an important element of liberty. Without privacy liberty is curtailed.
If there is no constitutional right of privacy derived from the fundamental right of liberty, then the government could install by force GPS devices in our automobiles and track our every move. It could install by force TV cameras in our private homes, bathrooms and bedrooms with which to spy on us all. The Fourth Amendment would not prevent that because spying doesn’t involve searches or seizures.
Most of our precious rights aren’t enumerated and are found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. They must be inferred from the self evident natural rights which existed before laws and before governments.
There is no right to eat in the Constitution; no right to breathe; to walk; to travel; to see; to hear; to reproduce; and on and on and on. All of those rights are derived from the rights to life and liberty. All must be interpreted as recognizable constitutional rights though they are found nowhere in that document.
Justice Scalia thinks that the Constitution confers upon persons the right to own guns but the Second Amendment does not say that. It says that we have the right to “to keep and bear arms.”
So what is there to prevent the government from implementing laws depriving people of gun ownership but allowing slingshots, pea shooters and other less deadly arms?
Justice Scalia – actually any Supreme Court Justice or government official for that matter – has the human capacity and often the craven willingness to be deliberately disingenuous, logically inconsistent, and intellectually dishonest.
Nowhere is this ominous human tendency more evident that in the matter of a woman’s constitutional reproductive right to abortion. The religiously oriented politicians and intellectually dishonest judges will simply not be satisfied until those rights are denied, and to Hell with the fundamental natural human right to liberty.
The Tennessee State House, for instance, is passing a law permitting homicide and assault prosecutions for the death of embryos “at any state of gestation in utero.” Never mind that about half of all fertilized eggs die before reaching full term, with the rate highest during the embryonic stage; they are Hell bent on finding ways to prosecute women for every miscarriage and especially every abortion no matter what.
Arizona politicians passed a law forbidding doctors from aborting most fetuses with a gestational age starting at 18 to 20 weeks or older, even in situations where the doctor discovers the fetus has a fatal defect which will likely result in the infant dying within minutes, hours or days following birth. The law also defines gestational age as beginning on the first day of the woman's last period whether she is actually pregnant or not.
That’s what they think about a woman’s fundamental constitutional reproductive rights.
Politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives are all hyped up over the possibility of sex-selective abortions. So they’re debating a bill that would ban abortions performed on the basis of gender-selection.
"The people of this country are overwhelmingly for this bill, and liberals are going to have to make up their mind whether they are so committed to abortion on demand that they think that includes killing little girls because they are little girls," said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
Under his proposal, physicians who perform sex-selective abortions would face heavy fines and up to five years in jail, and the bill contains language that would strip federal funding from any clinic found in violation of the measure.
Is Rep Franks concerned with liberty?