Joy Behar has a burning question: “Do you think this Constitution-loving is getting out of hand?”
That’s the question she posed to a panel of guests on her show Tuesday night, centered around the GOP’s plan to read the Constitution before the 112th Congress opens. Liberal talk show host Bill Press was more than willing to answer that it’s a “Hollywood” stunt and Republicans might actually benefit from such a reading since they have no idea what’s in it:
There’s just one problem with Press’s answer (and critique): there isn’t an explicit “right to privacy” in the Constitution. Such a thing was created by justices in cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut and Lawrence v. Texas.
To be fair, Press is probably referring to the Fourth Amendment, which protects “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Constitutional law scholars Robert P. George and David Tubbs admit in their law article that the Fourth Amendment does reference “true privacy rights.” But an explicit “right to privacy” as has been written into the Constitution via cases such as Griswold isn’t there. Instead, privacy in those cases “functioned as a euphemism for immunity from those public-morals laws deemed by the justices to reflect benighted moral views.”
In other words, “privacy” has been manipulated into an excuse to overturn laws the justices think are out of date, thus circumventing the democratic process.
But what do they know — they’re just a bunch of Constitution-lovers.