Or maybe we should just let Hall and Oates decide this one

I just wrote a letter to the New York Times, and under the quite strong assumption that it will not be printed, decided to share it with you here. I would also like to note that the columnist under discussion was one of my college professors, and I was actually extremely impressed with his ability to teach thoughtfully and objectively, given the fact that he is a bejeweled darling of the right-wing establishment. Anyway:

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The questions about privacy rights raised by Robert George became part of an interesting pop quiz after reading Mireya Navarro’s article about published photos of celebrities smoking. In response to George’s charges of inconsistent judicial interpretation, I would argue that the privacy decisions of the past 40 years were made in the context of our progressing society and by considering privacy rights of individuals against their effects on the constitutional rights of others. In the case of celebrity smokers, the (constitutionally protected) press is under criticism for printing photographs which may harm young people (protected by the Fourteenth Amendment), because influential celebrities (pursuing happiness) are increasingly smoking outside in public, a result of (constitutionally justified) indoor smoking bans protecting the public’s health. The framers presumably didn’t predict this situation, but would agree that guiding this delicate balance among freedom, privacy, and individual responsibility is exactly what the Constitution was intended to do.

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3 Comments

  1. These is one of the biggest challenges that America has always faced – Rights of Freedom and Rights of Safety are often mutually exclusive.

    For example, although we may be a teensy bit safer under the Patriot Act, we now have to deal with the fact that private eyes (clap clap) are watching us.

  2. …Or was it one clap there, and two after that?

    Either way, very well written.

  3. i vote for two [claps].

    i’m just waiting for the chip to be imbedded in my neck ala manchurian candidate or visiting your local vet to chip your family pet.

    well written evie.

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