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The Right to Privacy. Janet E. Smith

ISBN: 978-0-935372-51-9
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The renowned Catholic philosopher and polemicist, Janet Smith, argues that the idea of a “right to privacy” is an invention of the courts used to advance a morality completely at odds with traditional Western views, especially in the areas of contraception, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and homosexual “marriage.” Smith examines in some detail the use of this idea by the Supreme Court, contrary to the standard principles of constitutional interpretation, resulting in paradigmatic cases of “legislating from the bench.” The phrase “right to privacy” is, in fact, a code word for relativism. She traces its usage from its earliest appearance in Griswold v. Connecticut to its incarnation in Lawrence v. Texas, in each case showing that the Court has employed it to impose its own understanding of morality on the people, in direct and open contradiction to the clear meaning of the text. Smith contrasts this willingness to substitute personal preferences for objective moral norms with the wisdom of Pope John Paul II’s great encyclical Evangelium vitae, which links the evils of contraception with the eventual degeneracy of public law. This volume includes a foreword by Judge Robert Bork, the Supreme Court nominee who was denied a place on that tribunal because of his insistence that judges conform their decisions to the law as enacted by the representatives of the people. Judge Bork notes that the right to privacy “is but one of a series of phrases employed by the Supreme Court to justify the creation of rights not found in the Constitution by any traditional method of interpreting a legal document.”