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Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Right to Dignity?

For John, BLUFThis could destroy civilization.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Atlantic Magazine has an article by Mr Jeffrey Rosen, "The Dangers of a Constitutional 'Right to Dignity'".  The sub-headline is "It may provide support for same-sex marriage, but it also empowers judges to decide whose 'dignity' they wish to prioritize."

Before even reading this I see problems.  If people have a right to dignity, must the police provide trousers for men in shorts?  What about women walking around in skimpy outfits?

Here is the lede:

If the Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans, it may well do so on the grounds that they violate the dignity of gay couples.  And although proponents of marriage equality may cheer a decision along these lines when it is delivered, the expansion of the constitutional right to dignity may produce far-reaching consequences that they will later have cause to regret.
Here is the concluding paragraph.
In suggesting that the expansion of the right to dignity is something that liberals may come to regret, I’m not arguing that same-sex marriage bans can or should easily be upheld in light of the Supreme Court precedents on the books.  In the same-sex marriage arguments, the liberal justices seemed drawn to the idea that marriage is a fundamental right that must be expanded to all citizens on equal terms.  A decision along those lines—although broader in some respects than a ruling based on dignity—might be easier to confine to cases involving marriage.  And given Justice Kennedy’s previous opinions for the Court ruling out of bounds moral disapproval and the preservation of tradition for its own sake, it’s hard to think of any other plausible reasons for upholding the marriage bans that don’t rely on what the Court has defined as animus.  Still, if the Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans on the grounds that they violate a right to dignity, liberals may have second thoughts about empowering judges to decide whose dignity trumps when the interests of citizens with very different conceptions of dignity clash.
I suspect Mr Rosen is confused about the difference between Liberals and Progressive, but that does not make him wrong about the possible consequences of a ruling based on "dignity".

If anyone cares, my view is that everyone gets a civil union, but marriage is left to those who have some religious affiliation, however tenuous, and it should be performed after the civil union.  Like they do in Europe.  Like Martha and I did, albeit first in Las Vegas and then later at MacDill AFB.  (Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.)

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

alan berk said...

hoping to contact Clifford r Krieger, col usaf - retired

using chaos, criticality and strategic thought

you can find me ajbek at