Thursday, June 26, 2003

Rights and Reason: A Kennedy Protects Individual Rights

In a crushing below to the collectivist philosophy of modern "federalism," the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to hold Texas' criminal ban on consensual gay sex unconstitutional. In one of his finest moments as a member of the high court, Justice Anthony Kennedy authored a superb opinion which struck right to the heart of the issue:
Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives and existence, outside the home, where the State should not be a dominant presence. Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.
More to come on this later, including a discussion of Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion, but suffice to say, today was a very good day for individual rights before the law.

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