One of the great lies of the latter half of the twentieth century is that there is a Constitutional right to privacy. The right to privacy was established by the Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), in which the Court ruled that the state could not restrict the use of contraceptives. That law hadn’t been enforced in nearly a hundred years when it was challenged, but that didn’t stop liberals from trying to strike it down.
Why? They wanted to make a point, and make it they did: according to the Court, the Constitution guaranteed a “right to privacy.” Where did this right to privacy come from? “[S]pecific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance,” wrote Justice William O. Douglas, in one of the silliest and least substantive lines of reasoning in legal history.
Later, the “right to privacy” would be extended to unmarried sexual activity in Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972); abortion in Roe v. Wade (1973); and homosexual activity in Lawrence v. Texas (2003). Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Lawrence is one of the most insulting opinions ever, stating that just because a state legislature finds something immoral doesn’t mean it can ban it and that the Constitution requires that Americans “respect” the private lives of homosexuals. “The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime,” Kennedy wrote — announcing a bizarre standard if the Constitution is designed to prevent federal overreach.
Let’s leave aside Kennedy’s logic here — the state constantly demeans the existence of consensual bigamists, prostitutes, incestuous families, bestiality practitioners, and adulterers, and in most of those cases, controls the destinies of those involved in these activities. Let’s focus instead on the basic point, which seems intuitively right to so many Americans: what we do in the bedroom should be our business alone.
I agree with that. You agree with that. We all agree with that. Libertarianism’s impact has been felt by us all — we know that we don’t want cops knocking on our door based on what we do with our sexual partners.
There’s only one problem: the left isn’t truly interested in the right to privacy. What starts in the bedroom doesn’t stay in the bedroom for the left. It ends with government pushing their bedroom agenda-of-the-day.
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