Thursday, April 30, 2015

If you think liberal totalitarianism is bad now...

...just wait till the Supreme Court constitutionalizes Gay marriage on the grounds of a "constitutional right to dignity."

//If dignity is defined so elastically, then conservatives judges might invoke it to strike down not only gun-control laws, but also other progressive legislation. Libertarian groups invoked the “sweet-mystery-of-life” my language in Casey to argue that the Obamacare healthcare mandate unconstitutionally violated the dignity and autonomy of Americans by forcing them to buy health insurance. In the future, cigarette smokers might argue that anti-smoking bans violate their ability to create an individual identity. And conservative Christian wedding photographers could claim that anti-discrimination laws compelling them to photograph gay weddings violate their dignity and ability to define themselves as conservative Christians. What courts would do when confronted with the clashing dignitary rights of the religious wedding photographer and the gay couple, or the hunter and the victim of gun violence, is anyone’s guess, because dignity is such an abstract concept that its boundaries are difficult to discern.

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.//

So, dignity for liberal me and not for conservative thee?

Expect dignity rulings that find "bad speech" - "racist" or "sexist" speech, i.e., the kind to which activist requires "trigger warnings" - to be justified, but the vilification of "bad groups," such as Catholics by the City of San Francisco to be ignored.


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