Hardwick: A Hollow and Harmful Decision

I was astounded to read Henry Mark Holzer's praise for the Supreme Court's decision in the Hardwick case ("The Sodomy Solution: Repeal, Not Appeal," Viewpoint, Oct.). Holzer argues that the decision was correct because it was consistent with states' rights.

First, states have no rights; only individuals have rights, and that decision clearly permitted employees of the state of Georgia to violate the rights of Hardwick.

Second, like the ACLU, Holzer is enamored with procedure and treats procedure as an end, not as a means. As long as government employees follow the correct procedure, as set forth in the Constitution, Holzer would, I believe, say that they have the right to commit any act, however heinous.

In a magazine such as Reason, I expected a better analysis of Hardwick.

Richard D. Fuerle

Monroeville, PA

Holzer Is Wrong on Rights

Professor Holzer's assessment is not satisfactory. For example, his strict constructionism and absolutist federalism vis-a-vis the Bill of Rights disregards the history of interpretations given to the First and Fifth amendments. It also fails to mention the neglected but vital Ninth Amendment. This last explicitly refers to rights outside not only the Constitution but positive law itself.

It may be that a constitution of liberty is not the same as the U.S. Constitution. But there appears more in the latter that supports individual rights than Holzer finds in it. I believe that his analysis is not only dubious but dangerous, for it gives credence to collectivism so long as it is decentralized.

Tibor R. Machan

Auburn, AL

The Frightful Fruits of Federalism

The Georgia sodomy law violates the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution. It is important to our liberties, and thus the Griswold decision (the contraceptives case) is a valuable precedent in constitutional law. The landmark case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, was based on similar reasoning, and the Georgia law should have been struck down for the same reason.

Mr. Holzer also defends the concept of federalism. While he is legally correct, it seems obvious today that federalism is an obsolete concept and has merely created an unnecessary, expensive level of government.

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