Constitutional Question

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by pegwinn, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    [flamebait] I did a control F full text search of the US Constitution including amendments, clauses, superceded text etc at: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html. I was looking for anything that actually directed the absolute seperation of church and state. I was looking for a right to privacy. I found neither.
    I have read the constitution and the bible from cover to cover. Neither makes me a judge or preacher. Just exactly where and how do we have the so called seperation........and privacy. [/flamebait]

    Why do I care? Well cuz when the anti gun control guys begin to rant, they quote the second amendment. By quote I mean that in the dictionary definition. On the other hand, when the alabama judge lost his job..............and of course the knucklehead who is ticked about "under god" rant, I hear big words but no quotes.

    For my own intellectual curiosity (lots of one, and not the other, you figure it out) I would like to trace the Supreme Courts alleged controlling interest in our Constitution.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Pegwinn:

    The "separation of church and state" thing actually comes from a letter from then-President Jefferson to a Baptist association. But even Jefferson never envisioned the absolute exclusion of religion from teh public life and/or government.

    Privacy... the right to privacy in the 4th Amendment, as I read it, only states that one is free from unreasonable searches of person and property. It does not mean that you can do whatever you want to to your own body; otherwise, drug laws would be invalid. I totally disagree with the assertion made in Roe v. Wade that abortion is somehow protected by the Constitution.
     
  3. YellowBirdy
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    Separation of Church in State: Correct, nowhere in the Constitution. This phrase comes from Thomas Jefferson in a letter he wrote describing the meaning of the First Amendment. People who don't like the wall will tell you that Jefferson's opinion on the Constitution is irrelevant. He was an anti-Federalist opposed to the Constitition and was in France during its drafting. If you look back at what the people who wrote the Const meant with the 1st, they meant for there to be no preference between Protestant sects. The text doesn't say this, but that's what they had in mind. But I don't think we should care about their subjective intent. We should read the Const for its plain textual meaning.

    Privacy. Not mentioned in the Const either. Its a right created by judges. Two main ways to derive it. First way is via the Ninth Amendment which states (pharapharsing from the top of my head here) that "the enumeration of rights w/in the bill of rights is not a retraction of other rights still retained by the people." It gives no clue what these rights are, how they can be found, or even if they were known at the time of the writing. Good 'ol Judge Bork called the 9th and "inkblot" when asked in his botched confirmation hearings. But if its an "inkblot", then why was it written?

    Second way to find privacy is via the "penumbra" of rights created by, intra alia, the 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th and 14th Amendments. These Amendments all give people protections that justices found to give a right of privacy.


    2nd Amendment. Most frequently cited half-quote. And it doesn't apply to the states, only the fed govt. The states can regulate guns all they want because the 2nd has never been incorporated to the states. (Neither has your right to a jury trial in civil matters exceeding $20.)

    Alabama Judge. He lost his judge for defing a court order. You think a judge would follow a court's order.

    Pledge Dude. He argues that saying "under god" is the "establishment of religion" prohbited by the 1st Amendment. Courts have ruled that school-sanctioned school prayer is an establishment. But making everyone stand up and leading them to say "under God" isn't. The court that ruled it was a violation stated that "under God" violates the 1st jsut as would "under Bob", "under Allah", "under no God". The court also looked to when the phrase was added to the pledge - more than 50 years after the pledge was written. It was added during the red scare by Ike (remember McCarthyism?) so that we could indoctinate our kids with religion so they'd be different then those godless commies.
     
  4. NewGuy
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    Uh, no. It CLEARLY says there can be no laws made in regard to any religious practice in the context of government regulation thereof. A judge may put a koran or a 10 Commandments on his bench with no say so from the government.

    Agreed.


    Then how do you justify Article 6 paragraph 2 stating all courts in federal or state jurisdiction acknowledge the Constitution as the highest in the land and are bound by it....Then, the 9th ammendment you just quoted?
     
  5. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    First of all, the separation of church and state WAS written into the Constitution. It was written in by the lack of mention of religion at all in the original document and then in the first amendment which was designed to keep the government from interfering in religion and vice versa.

    Second, as to the question of right to privacy, it's explicit in the fourth amendment "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Being secure in your "persons, houses, papers, and effects" obviously requires privacy. This means the government has no right to control your body (person), home, papers, or effects (other possessions) unless they show cause. It's right there. It's been right there for over 200 years.

    acludem
     
  6. YellowBirdy
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    The 1st states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." In my post I made a comment about the writers' intent behind the 1st, which was to prevent rivalry between Protestant sects. Yes, the 1st doesn't state this, nor did I ever claim it did. And I don't really care what the intent behind it was anyways.

    A judge may put the 10 commandments on his bench w/o repercussion? What are you basing this on?


    Read the Bill of Rights. The first words state that "CONGRESS shall make no law" (emphasis added). This has been interpreted since 1791 to mean that it is a restriction on the federal government, not the state governments. After the passage of the Bill of Rights, states often performed acts that violated the protections guaranteed in the bill of rights. But there was no recourse because the bill of rights did not apply to the states. You don't get an Amendment restricting state power until the 14th. Over the course of time judges started appling the privledges and immunities clause of the 14th to incorporate the protections of Amendments 1-8.

    And as far as the ninth... it says that there are rights retained by the people but does not say what they are. What does this mean? People don't really have a strong answer. People who think we don't have privacy rights think the 9th is an "inkblot".
     
  7. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I'm not going to dignify this drivel with a response. It's just another application of the age-old political practice of word-twisting. Oops, I just dignified it with a response. Oh well, at least it wasn't a specific response.

    Seriously acludem, you need to get a decent grip on reality. Every time I see you interperet someone else's words for us, you either expand the definition of everything they say until it fits your ideals or you leave out enough of their words that it looks like a) they agree with you or b) they're hateful/stupid/bigots/etc.
     
  8. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    What words did I twist? I can read a document and comprehend what it means. The amendment I posted clearly shows that the right to privacy was included in the Constitution. How can anyone "be secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects" without a basic right of privacy? Tell me how!

    acludem
     
  9. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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  10. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    The quote you refer to was in the Declaration of Independence, a document of Propaganda, not the Constitution. Get it straight. Yes, I firmly believe that by not including any references to religion in the Constitution the founders meant to create an entirely secular government. If they had wanted this to be "Christian nation" as so many of you claim they would've written it into the Constitution. The fact that they expressly and intentionally left religion out of the constitution should tell you something.

    acludem
     

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