Ryan is correct when he states that our rights come from natural law. He and others who have recently made this assertion imply, though, that the government cannot create rights, such as a “right” to health insurance despite preexisting conditions. This limited notion of rights makes a mockery of natural law. Many positive laws create rights — rights of action (i.e., the right to access courts to enforce legislative remedies), if nothing else. Locke and the Founders never said or implied that natural law precludes positive law. Positive law must not be inconsistent with natural law, to be sure, but our early Supreme Court cases, some of which considered positive law in light of natural law, rarely found them to be in conflict.
Last year, Mitt Romney made Robert Bork the co-chair of his justice advisory committee. The appointment offers a window into Romney’s judicial philosophy and suggests that Romney would nominate people with Bork’s constitutional notions to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court. Most commentary about Bork is the usual red-blue stuff. Conservatives generally like him for […]
This sadness feels Medieval, locked in ice and dusk – Lisa Russ Sparr, “Penance I” Rounding the century and having bested the last eighty years’ most malignant forms of government – fascism and communism – Western liberalism had only to fear problems stemming from the economic success its political success had fostered: pollution, global warming, […]