Texas This I Know...

Texas This I Know...
Texas Farm to Market Road

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Where Do Rights Originate? How Are They Stopped From going Away?

The Weekly Standard has an article on the Judge John Roberts confirmation hearings that has some intersting things to say about where rights come from .

The Democrats seem to subscribe to the notion that rights are actually created by the Constitution and can be expanded, or reduced, by changes to the Constitution.

...the Democratic position: "Our democracy, our rights, and everything we hold dear about America are built on the foundations of our Constitution," said Kohl. "Our Constitution is . . ." said Leahy, "the foundation of our rights and liberties." "Herein lies the crux of the debate I referenced at the outset," said Biden. "Whether we will have ever increasing protections for human liberty and dignity, or whether those protections will be diminished."

Republicans hold to the more, in my opinion, quixotic view that rights exist all on their own, and the Constitution simply codifies them.

...the Republican position, put most succinctly by Cornyn: "The Constitution does not guarantee everything that is good, and it does not prohibit everything that is bad." In this view, the Constitution doesn't grant rights--indeed, the Bill of Rights is a series of amendments to the original document. In this view, the Constitution is just a rule book, and we would still have rights if tomorrow it ceased to exist.

I believe that rights exist on their own but that a people must be strong enough, and wise enough, to wrest those rights out of the hands of the members of the group who have, through accident or manipulation, become the keepers of the levers of political power.

Once the revolution is fought, and the changes made, a written document is the best method of insuring that it stays that way.

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