Should there be a Right-to-Privacy Const. Amendment?

Excerpted from Dan Savage:

Presumably, what exactly those rights entailed would be an issue. What kind of wording (explicit or general) would sway Dopers one way or the other?

Hearing from our friends (particularly our legal-oriented ones) on the Right, would you support such an amendment? If not, why not?

What would be the most convincing argument an anti-RtP position be? Would it be enough to prevent it from passing?

It seems so absurdly simple, it’s incredible it hasn’t been considered before. Or has it? Has there ever been an attempt in the past to codify such a right on that level (even if it died an early death)?

The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a right to privacy in the Constitution. Since the SC is the final arbiter of what the Constitution means, that settles it. It would be redundant to add a right to privacy explicitly. It would almost seem like a tacit agreement that unenumerated rights are not protected, a position most Democrats find abhorrent.

Now if the Supreme Court overrules Griswold (and thus Roe v. Wade) by holding that there is no right to privacy, then yes, they would be handing Democrats a winning issue, and it would be time to crank up the amendment machine.

Oh, and if the Supremes ever did overrule Griswold and Roe v. Wade, here’s my proposed 28th Amendment:

There is absolutely zero chance that a “right to privacy” amendment would end up being approved. Most of the population would not be in favor of one, unless and until the Government decided to interfere with something a hell of a lot more common to Joe Q. Public than abortions.

I suppose you could if you worded it correctly, you get get it passed.

Congress shall make no law invading on the right to privacy.*

*Only applies to whites.
**Only applies to Christians
***Most definitely does not apply to those fags.
**** And don’t even get me started about abortion.
*****Offer void in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

It depends on how many more elections the Democratic Party wants to lose.

I cannot find the perfect response to this online, but Herb Block, the late Washington Post political cartoonist and probably the man with the most unerring feel for what the average American felt, did a wonderful cartoon at the time of the Bowers v. Hardwick decision, showing Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public sitting up in bed in a room of which the exterior wall was being demolished by Chief Justice Burger, while then-Associate Justice Rehnquist gleefully wheeled the demolished bricks away in a wheelbarrow. The caption was something to the effect of “I thought they were strict constructionists!”

In essence, I get the sense that most Americans have a sense that they should be left alone by government to mind their own business, and are willing to extend the same privilege to others as they want for themselves.

If you seriously think that most Americans don’t feel that they themselves have a “right to privacy,” and don’t see that as limited to abortions (or contraceptives, cf. Griswold where it was first enunciated), then I suggest that your sense of the popular will is very much out of kilter.

Unless you’re gay or something. Better let Christ into your heart too.

Does a right to privacy mean, for example, that you have a right to:

  1. Use (currenlty illegal) drugs in the privacy of your home?

  2. Engage in prostitution?

  3. Contract with someone to work for less than the minimum wage?

I have no problem with any of those things, but I think many Americans would.

I think -spoke’s proposed amendment would get stuck on that point as well.

I think it’s a great idea. Because it is debated, and could very well be overturned, and it seems people feel they have that right.

Isn’t there a phrase somewhere in the constitution about the right of persons to be secure in their persons and their homes? If so, that would seem to mean that a right to privacy is already there (more or less). It would, like other rights, be subject to certain conditions. For existence, we have search warrants. If a warrant is issued, just like now, it would still authorize police to do their jobs. Warning - I have not checked a single thing so I may be talking out my posterior.

Can someone cite just what the SCOTUS meant by the phrase “right to privacy”? I presume they didn’t mean unfettered libertarianism; but if the right to privacy doesn’t mean “I can do whatever I want if it doesn’t impinge anyone elses’ rights”, then what does it mean?

Well if the SC overturned Griswald vs Connecticut then states could make it illegal for even married couples to use birth control! John & Jane Q Public would certainly get pissed about that!

And thus we stumble upon a constitutional amendment for the “right to privacy”. There simply is no consensus on a definition for “privacy” and each person will see different rights in it. The thing that I believe people want to protect against with the right to privacy i.e. unnecessary government intrusion on peoples lives is already protected by the constitution.

Most Americans support abortion rights. Best scenario the Dems can dream about is Roe v Wade being overturned.

Someone else with more experience in law will be by with a better deffinition, but I belive it means that a gov’t must show that it has a valid interest in controlling whatever matter a law is passed to regulate. In the specific instance of Griswald, then, the gov’t of CT was unable to convince the court they had a valid reason to ban contraception.

I think that most Americans feel that they shouldn’t expect the government to bang down their door, or peep in their windows. But that’s prevented already by the Fourth Amendment, so we don’t need anything else in that regard.

What we are really talking about is whether most Americans feel that government shouldn’t be able to tell someone what they can’t do, or must do, behind a closed door. While I have no doubt that most Americans feel that THEY shouldn’t be hassled that way, I positively guarantee to you that they have no intention of extending that courtesy to their neighbor, let alone some faceless shlub across the country and down three states.

Should you be able to do currently illegal drugs? A “right to privacy” would certainly open that question up. What about deviant sexual practices? Could a “right to privacy” prevent the government from punishing, say, sex with underage daughters? We can list numerous examples of things that we do privately that government could have a strong interest in regulating; many of them are issues about which people in general have strong feelings.

So no, I do not think my sense of the American public on this issue is at all out of kilter. Indeed, if anything, I may understate the general abhorrence that would exist if a “right to privacy” amendment was circulated.

Now, things could change in the future. After all, some states have “right to privacy” written into their constitutions. But it would take one hell of a change.

One would think so. Yet AMENDMENT XIX was necessary.

Yep, that’s it. Very well put. Freedom for me but not for thee.

The big problems I have with it is as follows:

(1) The “Right to Privacy” does not seem to actually give me any privacy. It hasn’t stopped public or private concerns from trying to find out all kinds of info about me, and we already had a number of laws and protections in place to ensure the police don’t come strolling through my living room on a lark. What the heck does it do? Thus far, no lawyer has actually been able to tell me this. It seems to protect my right to get an abortion. Boy, just what a man needs. OTOH, it doesn’t seem to protect any other medical procedures I want, as the FDA can apparently pull these anytime it wants.

(2) It doesn’t seem to mean anything at all. It’s a slogan, but with neither principles nor words behind it.

(3) It still doesn’t appear in the Constituion. Honestly, the idea sounds nice and all, but I’m afraid it was still more or less made up on the spot. At best, that means any other court can take it away. It’s bad enough with SCOTUS ignoring the “Elastic Clause.”