< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: The Right to Privacy

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Right to Privacy

Atrios quotes a post by Orcinus on the right-wing's war against the judiciary. Its an average post by Atrios, filled with sarcasam and snarkiness. And of course, he lets the original poster do most of the talking. The quote he uses though, found at the bottom of the Orcinus post, shows yet again the churlish and infantile nature of the hard left.

I recommend everyone read the whole post first, it is interesting, to say the least. Now though, let's point out some of the more absurd remarks in the quote Atrios chose to plug. "Of course, most Americans tend to take privacy for granted, but little realize it exists almost solely, according to Supreme Court rulings, as a Ninth-Amendment "natural right" not enumerated by the Constitution, or as a "penumbra" of other rights that have been written out."

Does anyone see what is wrong here? Young Orcinus, and by default our dear Atrios, have missed the boat on the right to privacy. The right to privacy was actually, more or less, invented by Louis D. Brandeis and Samuel D. Warren (courts like to see rediscovered, by truthfully, these two were the first to "rediscover", so call it what you want). The founding essay, published in 1890, is titled "The Right to Privacy", I understand Harvard Law has a few of these laying around, go read it.

The problem these two face is that the whole point of the right to privacy is that, as they put it, "most Americans" take it for "granted". Were it not that way, it would have never been "discovered" in the first place. Instead though, Orcinus and Atrios would rather impugn the intelligence of "most Americans", and as a result, they continue the ever tragic (now almost comedic) plunge off the nearest cliff.

Orcinus continues that most of us Americans don't understand that the separation of church and state is similarily a judicially created mechanism. Again, Orcinus misses the point, it is only judicially recognized, not created. We seemingly naive Americans created the right by generally accepting it in the course of our daily lives. This then brings us full circle, and poses the question which Orcinus and Atrios almost cynically overlook, is America changing or are the conservatives pushing this out of step?