View Full Version : Abortion, Privacy, and Self-Defense

07-17-2009, 11:36 PM
Judge Sotomayor was ill advised to withhold her concession of a constitutional right to self-defense in her confirmation hearings (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/07/sotomayor-hearings-complete-transcript-day-3-part-2.html). If the doctrine of substantive due process, as used by the Supreme Court to protect a wide range of unenumerated rights over a long period of time, supports the right to abortion and the right to privacy doctrines, it must with far greater reason support a right to self defense. The Supreme Court that protects “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992), cannot shie away from protecting the far more basic right to preserve one’s existence from wrongful physical threats.

In the light of reason, Judge Sotomayor’s recognition of abortion rights as settled precedent and endorsement of a constitutional right to privacy should cause and compel her to recognize and endorse a constitutional right to self-defense. As a practical matter, her shoo-in as a Supreme Court Justice will vouchsafe a permanent preemption of impartial reason by the richness of her experiences.