Hobby Lobby: Proof Liberals Don’t Understand Negative Rights
Like GorT, ‘Puter has enjoyed many of his liberal friends’ logic free, overwrought Facebook rants on the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby et al. Unlike many of his friends, ‘Puter has actually read the Court’s decision and the dissent therefrom.
In a saner world, the Court’s decision would be noncontroversial. However, we don’t live in such a world. Rather, we inhabit a hair-on-fire world where every act remotely limiting the ever-expanding domain of “reproductive rights” is the Worst Thing EverTM, proof of a War on WomenTM, or both.
In reality, the Court applied President Clinton and the then-Democrat led Congress’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Faced with a government action that limited a plaintiff’s right to act according to his deeply held religious beliefs, the Court applied the statutorily mandated strict scrutiny standard and struck down the offending regulation.
Unfortunately for the Court (and for sane America), the regulation struck down was (1) ObamaCare related and (2) birth control related. So naturally all Hell broke loose, with liberals screaming about their lady parts while penning bigoted anti-Catholic screeds.
Rather than get into the legal niceties of the decision, ‘Puter will simply state an observation as to the liberal mindset derived from their unhinged reactions to the decision.
Liberals have no concept of negative rights.
Simply put, a negative right is the entitlement to prevent others or one’s self from acting in a certain manner as to one’s self. A positive right is the entitlement to force others to act in a certain manner as to one’s self.
This is extremely important in the context of Constitutional interpretation because most of the Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights is a listing of American’s negative rights. Think about it.
Freedom of the press is the right of writers to prevent the government from interfering with what they write, how it is published and whether it is published at all. Freedom of religion is the right to be free from government interference in the practice of one’s chose religions. Freedom to own firearms is the right to own and carry firearms as one sees fit regardless of what government thinks. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure is the right to prevent government from searching you or your possessions for any reason or no reason at all.*
And, of course, so called “reproductive rights” are nothing more than negative rights. That is, individuals have the right to prevent government from interfering in their decisions regarding abortion and birth control.**
But liberals aren’t content with mere negative rights, at least for the rights they prefer. To liberals, all rights (and especially “reproductive rights”) are positive rights. That is, liberals believe they should be able to force others to provide the means for them to exercise their rights. This fundamental misconception about liberty and the Constitution explains the Left’s histrionics directed at the Court’s decision.
“How dare the Court find that a religious nut’s right to be left alone trumps the God-given right of all women everywhere to get their freak on worry free with taxpayer funded “free” birth control? Why, the sheer gall of those unelected defenders of the patriarchy! Did I mention that the majority are all male and Catholic?!?***”
Liberals would do well to rethink their categorization of Constitutional rights as positive rights for at least a couple of reasons. First, if government (read, taxpayers) had to fund every Constitutional right, it would break the national bank. Second, and most important to liberals, if every Constitutional right is a positive right, then ‘Puter is entitled to taxpayer funded firearms and ammunition.
‘Puter knows he doesn’t want to live in a country where all rights are positive rights. ‘Puter’s also pretty sure that most liberals, on reflection, probably don’t want to live in such a world either.
* Of course, these rights like all other rights are subject to governmental limitation provided that such limitation is necessary to advance a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of so doing.
** See the first asterisk generally. For purposes of this discussion, it is unnecessary for ‘Puter to consider the wisdom of the judicially invented discovered right to privacy emanating from the penumbras.
*** Not for nothing, but the liberal reaction to the Hobby Lobby decision is illustrative of how illiberal the Left has become. Liberals were far too quick to resort to anti-Catholic bigotry in the initial emotional, logic free reaction to the decision.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.