MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

What Neil Gorsuch's Book on Assisted Suicide Reveals About His Views on Abortion Rights

The Federalist SocietyThe Federalist SocietyThe issue of abortion is guaranteed to come up this week when the Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As a federal judge, Gorsuch's record on abortion is basically silent. He has not had the opportunity to write an opinion in a major abortion rights case. But his scholarly record is a different matter. Gorsuch's non-judicial writings contain several powerful clues about his views on the constitutionality of abortion.

In his 2006 book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, for example, Gorsuch rejected the case for legalizing assisted suicide on the grounds that "human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and the taking of human life by private persons is always wrong." That language seemingly points in an anti-abortion direction.

Furthermore, in that same book, Gorsuch questioned whether the Supreme Court had any business defending any sort of unenumerated constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Drawing on the work of conservative legal scholar Robert Bork, Gorsuch argued that the Due Process Clause has been stretched "beyond recognition" when the Court interpreted it to be "the repository of other substantive rights not expressly enumerated in the text of the Constitution or its amendments."

The most famous modern cases dealing with "substantive rights not expressly enumerated in the text of the Constitution or its amendments" are Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which recognized a constitutional right to privacy, and Roe v. Wade (1973), which said the right to privacy included "a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." Both cases cited the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment as a supporting authority.

Gorsuch's arguments about the Due Process Clause strongly suggest that he believes both Griswold and Roe were wrongly decided. The unanswered question is whether or not he believes those decisions should be overturned by the Supreme Court in future cases.

The Senate Judiciary Committee should ask him about that during this week's confirmation hearings.

Related: Questions for Neil Gorsuch on Congressional Power, Executive Power, and Constitutional Rights

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's doubtful any GOP-nominated judge would come down on the left side of the abortion debate, but I can't imagine it being a stumbling block here. When was the last presidential election where the voting public held a candidate's abortion views in any significant regard? If Gorsuch came down on the side of abortion rights, the Senate's D's would find some other disqualifying factor and the R's would wave it away as being unlikely to come in front of the Court anyway.

  • BigT||

    "Gorsuch argued that the Due Process Clause has been stretched "beyond recognition" when the Court interpreted it to be "the repository of other substantive rights not expressly enumerated in the text of the Constitution or its amendments."

    Gorsuch is correct. Those rights are in the 9th amendment, not the due process clause.

  • FreeRadical||

    I don't understand how the 9th Amendment can be ignored so brazenly. It is the-amendment-which-must-not-be-mentioned. Root doesn't mention it, even in passing.

    And how could a man as erudite as Gorsuch think that rights must be enumerated when the plain text of the 9th specifically says they aren't enumerated?

  • GroundTruth||

    Agreed! The 14th is great as far as it goes, but the 9th is far clearer, and doesn't have the reconstruction / new-deal / progressive baggage either. Add to the very simple plain text reading the debates about even having a bill of rights to begin with ( many of which essentially boiled down to: if we have a bill of rights and don't include something, it will be assumed that it is not a right), and you've got a very clear statement supporting unenumerated rights.

  • SomeGuy||

    That was the whole deal with the federalist and its funny. The federalist and anti federalist were both right.

    The government tried to remove rights even with the bill of rights

    and the bill of rights was bastardized as a maximum.

    It was a good thing we had the bill of rights because it did slow down the tyranny of our government but at the same time it was used to hurt us.

    I really can;t fathom how people don;t understand the bill of rights is a bare minimum!

    Especially with regards to the 1,2, 4, and 5th amendments!

  • John||

    From a strictly libertarian perspective, suicide whould be legal. If people have absolute autonomy over their own bodies, then they clearly have a right to end their life if they choose to. Assisted suicide is something entirely different. There someone is acting over someone else' body. The excuse of course is that the person's consent makes such an act consistent with the NAP. In the abstract, that is true. If I have the power to end my life, I therefore also have the power to consent to your doing it for me. In reality, however, it is a slippery slope that really shouldn't be stepped on.

    Understand that in legalizing assisted suicide, you may think you are giving people the power to kill others but you are effectively giving the government the power to kill. It is the government that makes the rules. It is the government that will decide what is "consent" and under what circumstances it is okay for someone to kill someone else without it being murder. Since it is the government that makes the rules, once you establish the precedent that it is okay in some circumstances for people to kill others absent self defense, you are trusting the government not to expand those circumstances.

  • Bubba Jones||

    This

  • GroundTruth||

    "the government makes the rules" in itself has certain issues. Why does the government get to say that a lethal dose of whatever can not be sold? Yes, if I use it to kill my neighbor, it's murder, but if I consume it myself, it is not. Only in the case of someone with a disease such as advanced ALS is another person required to commit the final act of suicide; buying the drug for your spouse because they can no longer drive is not itself murder, putting it into his mouth and causing him to swallow might be.

  • John||

    Yes, most of the problems that assisted suicide is supposed to solve are created by our drug laws. The only reason people need their doctors to kill them is that they can't buy the drugs themselves. So the solution is not to empower doctors to murder people. The solution is to get rid of the drug laws

  • SQRLSY One||

    +1 ^ This! Yes!

  • SomeGuy||

    they still need to exist for people who are bed ridden like muscle dystrophy patients.

  • SomeGuy||

    people who can't breath on their own, eat on their own, and can only move their thumbs. (mom is a nurse for this guy 40+ years old now).

    He can't kill himself even if he wanted to. Got in a huge spat with her about the inhumanity of forcing him to live and not letting him die if he wanted to. She was totally cool keeping this poor guy alive even if he wanted to die. Like what sick fuck would keep someone alive for 30 years against someones will?

    He doesn't want to die but i am just making an example of how sick it would be to keep him alive for 30 years against his will.

  • Deep Lurker||

    Not to mention the cases of suicide caused by the lack of pain relief. As in this classic Reason article.

    And now that access to pain relief has gone from completely abysmal to merely inadequate, the usual sadistic anti-drug types are yowling about an "opioid abuse epidemic."

  • Michael Hihn||

    Thanks, Reminds me of a true story. In a prior marriage, her oldest brother was a Catholic priest. She told me, and he confirmed, that when their grandmother was deathly sick, he asked the nurses to leave so he could issue a special type of prayer --- a Latin sounding name that made up. He pulled the plug, waited a while, felt her pulse, then plugged it back in.

    My wife had tears streaming down he face. My eyes were damp. From his courage In was over 40 years ago, And his devotion. He looked at his sister lovingly, and cracked a joke. Something like, "God did not create that kind of hell for people like her." My wife looked at me and said, "He always includes that,"

    I don't recall who long it took me to ask if he'd done that for others in that shape. He looked heaven ward and I saw his lips moving. I'm not religious, but I assumed he was praying.

  • chemjeff||

    The only thing we are trusting the government to do is to enforce contract law, same as it always is expected to do.

    No one is saying that it has to be an agent of the state that assists in someone's suicide. Only that if I, being of sound mind, wish to sign a contract with a private person of my choice to assist me in ending my life, that the state should not interfere in that contract.

    The other party might refuse to agree to such a contract. That's fine. I may have to prove that I am of sound mind to make such a decision. That is fine too.

  • John||

    You completely misunderstand my point. Nothing you said is even remotely responsive to my point.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You said

    Understand that in legalizing assisted suicide, you may think you are giving people the power to kill others but you are effectively giving the government the power to kill.

    He said it isn't giving the government the power to kill because they government is enforcing a private contract, not doing the act itself.

    It directly responds to your point and neuters it.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    What chemjeff said. Assisted suicide is a peaceful interaction between two individuals by mutual consent. If you oppose assisted suicide, you are an asshole, plain and simple. Stay out of the business of how other people want to end their life.

  • LarryA||

    Gorsuch rejected the case for legalizing assisted suicide on the grounds that "human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and the taking of human life by private persons is always wrong."

    It's a trap.

    Gorsuch is already saying "human life has value, and therefore should be regulated by the government." Debating about the government "legalizing" something already presumes that the act is illegal, but under certain limited conditions government should allow it.

    The libertarian debate would ask if the government should "illegalize" assisted suicide. Add to that the toxic idea that it should be legal for government to do what "private persons" are prohibited, and my answer is, "No."

  • John||

    The libertarian debate would ask if the government should "illegalize" assisted suicide.

    No. The Libertarian debate would ask if the government should be allowed to narrow the definition of murder for its own purposes. Absent self defense, my killing you is murder and a violation of the NAP. Assisted suicide is the government saying "murder is okay in some circumstances other than self defense". Do you really trust the government to do that? You really think the government is going to resist the temptation to abuse such power? I don't.

  • SomeGuy||

    Not really jon. Murder is a specific case of killing someone.

    Killing breaks down to several types of killing, murder, self defense, accidental death, assisted suicide, and so on.

    You lack an understanding like most people on what murder is. Murder requires malice and lacks consent. Assisted suicide does not have malice and has consent.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder

  • SomeGuy||

    killing an unborn baby can be argued to be murder due to lack of consent but still may lack malice but may have malice depending on the situation.

  • Michael Hihn||

    killing an unborn baby can be argued to be murder due to lack of consent

    Depends when, and most abortions have not been murder for decades. If ever.

    The woman's right to Liberty is precisely equal to the fetal child's right to Life. since they are both unalienable, which means both are absolute.

    And there is no right to life in the Constitution -- except as equal to the other unalienable rights.

  • SomeGuy||

    Very true. The problem is the government always uses and abuses power.

    Assisted suicide should only exist for people who can't do it like muscle dystrophy patients.

    Its fucked up someone killing themselves is like a crime in this world like the government or anyone else has authority of when i choose to die? FUCK OFF SLAVER!!!

    Once i need a walker or wheel chair I will end my life. I refuse to have a crappy quality of life and be a drain on society. (more than my medically retired ass already is)

  • John||

    The way Libertarians should think about assisted suicide laws is that they are giving the government the power to say that murder is okay in some circumstances and then trusting it not to expand those circumstances beyond all reason and for its own purposes. Last I looked, giving the government the power to sanction murder is something to which libertarians were rightly opposed.

  • WakaWaka||

    Maybe 'libertarians' should see how well assisted suicide is working out in Scandinavia

  • John||

    Or in the Netherlands. Once the government realizes it has the power to let its citizens murder one another, it quickly seizes on the opportunity to get rid of the unfit and inconvenient by allowing others to murder them. It is inevitable. There is, from the government's perspective, no difference between saying "the government can use its agents to murder people" and "the government can allow private parties to murder people under the circumstances it determines." Both situations allow the murder of people the government finds inconvenient.

  • DanO.||

    Derp.

  • John||

    Yes, Dan. You are functionally illiterate and have a low IQ. Thus you have no idea what is going on in this thread. Everyone knows you are profoundly stupid. You don't need to remind us.

  • DanO.||

    DERP.

  • John||

    Why don't you just post this from now on rather than trying to engage in the conversation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCjJ80hz1JI

    It will accomplish just as much as your normal posts and at the same time be less annoying and actually a bit more intelligent.

    You can thank me later for improving the quality of your posts.

  • DanO.||

    Nobody ever clicks retaliatory YouTube links, John. But it's funny watching you flail.

  • chemjeff||

    What is your specific objection to the Netherlands' procedure for assisted suicide?

  • John||

    The objection is that it quickly got out of control and resulted in doctors killing their patients and became an excuse to kill the depressed or the ill. There is no control over whether the person asking to be murdered has meaningfully consented. It has become an excuse to murder the mentally ill or any terminally ill person who is not conscious or competent enough to object.

    What was sold as "we need to let doctors help those dying and in pain" quickly became "doctors can kill anyone who is sick or mentally unfit just so long as they don't object.

  • chemjeff||

    So you don't have a problem with legal assisted suicide per se. Your problem is the government refusing to live up to its own rules.

    If the government has a hard time living up to its own rules, how is that an argument in favor of restricting the liberty of the people?

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    That problem is so easy to prevent. Just require proof of explicit consent. If such consent does not exist, than it isn't assisted suicide, is it?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Oregon does this but it's a request for medication - essentially the same thing. The also require an independent psychiatric examination, to determine if the patient is competent to make the decision -- largely, I believe, to exclude severe depression (which often includes suicidal thoughts) or other issues.

    I reviewed it a while back -- when I lived in WA. There are far more requirements than the Netherland. And the "physician assistance" consists of "prescribing" a lethal drug for self-administration.

    Indeed, when the physician merely prescribes a requested drug -- I wonder if the phrase is used with false implications --- like the shameful lies about Planned Parenthood (sneaky language and the moronic lie about fungibility,)

  • Shirley Knott||

    You argue as if this were in any way new, or somehow uniquely linked to laws on assisted suicide.
    Yet a casual glance over just the weekend's stories, let alone payment of minimal attention to what's gone on over the past years, would show that the government already has, and uses to excess, the power to say that murder is okay in some circumstances.

    Assisted suicide will not change this.

  • John||

    yes it does. All of the government sanctioning of killing now relate to self defense, justice for murder, or war. The government may do a shitting job of enforcing its own rules on cops but the fact remains that the rule is cops can only kill someone in self defense. Self defense is about your sovereignty. it has nothing to do with someone else'. You have a right to preserve your own body, even if doing so requires you to kill someone who is trying to kill you.

    Assisted suicide is something fundamentally different. It is saying that it is okay to murder someone even though they are not a threat to you and for no reason that relates to your person. That is an entirely different decision than saying you can defend your person even if doing so requires killing someone.

    You don't understand the concepts involved here. Beyond that, even by your own terms you are making a fallacious argument. Just because the government has the power to do harm doesn't mean expanding that power is no longer objectionable.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    According to the founding documents of the US, we gave government one job: to secure the rights of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    It does a pretty crappy job at that: quite often government kills the same individuals whose right to life it is supposed to secure, diminishes individual liberty, and erects roadblocks in the individual pursuit of happiness.

    Of course, government has assumed a plethora of jobs that it was not constituted to do, and it pretty much screws up every singe one, and every new job results in even poorer performance in the one job that Jefferson envisioned.

    Now libertarians want government to secure the right to die? You can bet they'll screw it up as well.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    All of the government sanctioning of killing now relate to self defense, justice for murder, or war.

    Or "Oops, we didn't really mean to boil you alive in that shower, but whaddayagonnado?"

  • John||

    Which part of "just because they ignore or do a terrible job of following the rules doesn't mean we should get rid of the rules" did you not understand?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    You're trying to have it both ways.

    Above you're arguing that European govts doing a lousy job of enforcing assisted suicide rules means that those rules should be done away with -- here you're arguing exactly the opposite.

  • Michael Hihn||

    that the government already has, and uses to excess, the power to say that murder is okay in some circumstances.

    Where are you reading this stuff. Or are you smuggling in some abortion hysteria?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    John is correct: assisted suicide is entirely different from suicide.

    Assisted suicide is a bullshit issue for libertarians to advocate; it's an issue that makes libertarianism as attractive as Dr. Kervorian.

    End the stupid, anti-libertarian war on drugs and that will remove the need for assisted suicide 90% of the time.

    He's also right that, until the state is finally abolished (i.e., forever), the state will inevitably make the rules for assisted suicide. And it will make the rules such that they advance the interests of the state and its elites. Generally, those rules will be anti-libertarian.

    Most people fail to comprehend Spooner and Bastiat. Not long after the legalization of assisted suicide, I expect it to become a right under the next incarnation to ObamaCare. Not long after that, I expect it to become one of Medicare's most frequent procedures.

    I do, however, understand why assisted suicide is an issue that attracts the advocacy of some libertarians. Like gay marriage was, assisted suicide as an issue is both trendy, avant-garde, and outrageous to conservatives. It has support among progressives, googoos, and most importantly the ruling elite. Thus, it's an opportunity to virtue signal in a way that will continue getting invitations to the right cocktail parties.

  • Robert||

    until the state is finally abolished (i.e., forever)


    How is that last bit possible? Unless there are no people any more.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    That's what people said about slavery two hundred years ago.

    Still, I rather doubt that the state will ever be abolished. Perhaps I should have written "never".

  • John||

    Consider the following hypothetical. You and I are neighbors in a world without a state. One day my daughter comes to me and says your son attacked and raped her. I believe her. So, I go to you and demand justice. You understandably believe your son. Now, my point does no hinge upon which side is lying. What is important is that both of us believe our own kid and think the other is wrong. Without a government and courts, how do we resolve that situation?

    We could not resolve it. And the answer could be I get whatever justice I am big enough to take. Okay, I get tired of looking at your rapist son and one day kill him. What then? You now have a beef with me for murdering your son. What then? Likely we end up in a blood feud between our two families and a ever escalating cycle of revenge that goes on until one side gets tired of dying.

    We could resolve it by some private court. Okay, but what if I win and the court says your son did rape my daughter and you say "fuck you my son's not going to jail and there is nothing you can do about it". What then? Either nothing happens and your court is effectively meaningless and we are back to my getting whatever justice I can take or the private court comes out and drags your son off to jail whether he wants to go or not. How is that any different than having a government?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    "How is that any different than having a government?"

    The private security services and courts probably won't waste time and money enforcing narcotics and other vice laws.

    Whereas, the government cops, "justice" system, and prison system love narcotics and vice laws because they mean job security and relatively easy work.

    I say "easy work" because it's hard work to solve a robbery or a burglary and prove the case, but it's simple to prove a drug possession or sale or solicitation for prostitution.

  • Michael Hihn||

    "How is that any different than having a government?"

    The private security services and courts probably won't waste time and money enforcing narcotics and other vice laws.

    Non-responsive.
    It's as if he asked you what time it is and you answer, "rutabagas."

  • Chip Your Pets||

    That's what people said about slavery two hundred years ago.

    Terrible analogy. 200 years ago half the country was fighting desperately to abolish slavery while the other half was fighting desperately to keep it from being abolished. Nobody thought abolition was inherently impossible.

  • creech||

    No, sorry, two hundred years ago (1817) abolitionists were a small, hated minority. Even anti-slavery Quakers were kicking radical abolitionists out of meeting.

  • Michael Hihn||

    No, sorry, two hundred years ago (1817) abolitionists were a small, hated minority. Even anti-slavery Quakers were kicking radical abolitionists out of meeting.

    Breitbart? Infowars? WND?

    Beginning with Vermont in 1777, most states north of the Ohio River and the Mason–Dixon line abolished slavery. ;.... At the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787, delegates debated over slavery, finally agreeing to allow states to permit the international trade for at least 20 years. By that time ((1787)), all the states had passed individual laws abolishing or severely limiting the international buying or selling of slaves.[10] Through the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Congress of the Confederation prohibited slavery in the territories northwest of the Ohio River. The importation of slaves into the United States was officially banned on January 1, 1808.[11]

    Abolitionism in the United States

  • Michael Hihn||

    That's what people said about slavery two hundred years ago.

    I've always found it amusing that anarchy has attracted so many authoritarian minds.

    Like it's crazy, or trendy to support assisted suicide.... then praise anarchy. BOING

  • Fairbanks||

    If you ever are unfortunate enough to watch a loved one die a horrible death from ALS, or a similar disease, while that loved one was wishing to commit suicide but was physically unable to do so, you might not be so blasé about why libertarians might favor assisted suicide. This is a complicated issue that deserves more thought than conjecture about virtue signaling.

  • Not a True MJG||

    lol more feelz over realz

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    A peaceful interaction between a patient and a doctor is none of your, or the State's, business. This is totally a libertarian issue. It's a free trade issue. Nobody is calling for State rules on assisted suicide. The rule should be that the State shall not prosecute a physician for assisting with suicide if the physician provides proof of consent.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Or maybe we just think people can end their own lives, and they have the liberty to contract with others to assist in carrying this out.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Assisted suicide is a bullshit issue for libertarians to advocate; it's an issue that makes libertarianism as attractive as Dr. Kervorian.

    Well, that was shameful.

    I do, however, understand why assisted suicide is an issue that attracts the advocacy of some libertarians. Like gay marriage was, assisted suicide as an issue is both trendy, avant-garde, and outrageous to conservatives

    Fuck those conservatives and their hatred for the Constitution, Natural Law and Unalienable rights.

    How is the Bill of Rights trendy and avant-garde?
    And do you even know what libertarian means?

  • lap83||

    Last I looked, giving the government the power to sanction murder is something to which libertarians were rightly opposed.
    Among libertarians, there seems to be a lot of overlap between assisted suicide and the "We can't trust government to only give the death penalty to those who deserve it" argument. I don't get it.

  • John||

    They don't either by choice or ignorance think about it the right way. They see it as "I should have the right to do this" and not "the government just narrowed the scope of what acts constitute murder." If they thought about like that, they would understand the dangers of it.

  • chemjeff||

    "I should have the right to do this" and not "the government just narrowed the scope of what acts constitute murder."

    If all parties agree, and all parties are of sound mind to be able to make such an agreement, and no third party is interfering with or attempting to manipulate the decision-making process, then why *shouldn't* government narrow the scope of what acts constitute murder in order to accommodate assisted suicide? From a property rights point of view, assisted suicide is just another type of a contract that two consenting adults form with each other. From a principled point of view, why should any third party forbid or ban such contracts from being enforced?

    Now you are right, from a practical point of view, government does an imperfect job at staying neutral in certain contractual arrangements. They would rather try to manipulate it in order to achieve their desired outcome which may be contrary to the free choices that the contracting individuals would otherwise make. But unless you're going to advocate that government get out of the contract enforcement business entirely - and I doubt you are - then the solution isn't to ban the contracts that government tries to manipulate, but instead stop government meddling in *all* contracts generally, not just those related to assisted suicide.

  • WakaWaka||

    Oh no! You mean he's not going to make shit up and actually follow the text of the Constitution! That is truly freightening and radical! That means that the Second Amendment is safe, the nonsense of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld may not be long for this world and the government will no longer be able to jail Americans at Guantanamo without due process, and all articles of the First Amendment will be recognized again! But...but...abortion! He may return the issue to the states!

  • John||

    Hey now, the "living Constitution" only goes one way. It can only be used to give us more ponies. It can never be used to take away our rights. Why? Well judges are just like that and we can trust them to only do nice things I guess.

    It would be nice if people would realize that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact" is nothing but a different way of saying "we have a living Constitution". Time and again people think "living Constitution" just means more stuff from Rainbow Puppy Island and instead of empowering judicial tyranny.

  • Robert||

    It would be nice if people would realize that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact" is nothing but a different way of saying "we have a living Constitution".


    Huh? The former says it doesn't obligate us to kill ourselves, and is true. The latter has a range of meanings—some correct, others incorrect, others that can't be nailed down—that don't even seem to overlap the former.

  • John||

    The former says that the meaning of the Constitution and the rights it expects the government to respect changes with the situation. That is nothing but a living constitution, just in the reverse of how it is normally portrayed.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OT: Monopoly kicks out three classic game tokens

    Spoiler: Top hat makes the cut, libertarians everywhere rejoice.

  • Robert||

    What happened to the version with the painted lathe-turned wood pieces?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Bah. Still no monocle, joint, nor suffering orphan tokens.

  • Robert||

    Maybe not the joint, but you'd think they'd have a cigar or pipe. Maybe a razor for double-edged blades. Or a high-heel to replace the other shoe. A telephone? A pie or slice thereof? Bicycle (but not the one on cards)? A pickle? A broom? Sailboat? Bottle? Then again, the wood ones were all bottles, pretty much.

  • gaoxiaen||

    They need something classy like the flying cock and balls.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Gorsuch's arguments about the Due Process Clause strongly suggest that he believes both Griswold and Roe were wrongly decided."

    My understanding is that it is generally recognized that Roe v. Wade is a shabbily reasoned opinion trying desperately to justify the conclusion the Court reached even among those who agree with that conclusion.

    Furthermore, "inalienable" rights, like life, are something that cannot be ceded to another person.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Y'all know it's Sunday, right?

  • Jerryskids||

    "human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and the taking of human life by private persons is always wrong."

    So no self-defense exception, let alone the "stand your ground" laws? And what precisely makes vulgar private citizens - unfit to judge who lives and who dies - somehow divinely inspired when it comes to selecting Our Betters (like Gorsuch) who are fit to decide who lives and who dies? Does government have some sort of filtering system that allows it to only appoint saints as judges and generals or does having one's paycheck signed by the government act as a sacramental transubstantiation? And what about juries deciding capital sentences - one minute you're not qualified to judge, the next you are and as soon as you've rendered your verdict you're back to being unqualified? Does Gorsuch believe the Divine Right of kings has given way to the Divine Right of the demos? While I certainly do believe in God-given rights, I also believe that all men are created equal and God didn't give out group rights such that some are qualified by virtue of their office to decide if somebody needs killing. If Gorsuch is such a fundamentalist that he believes all things are governed by a higher power, I'd kinda like to know that ahead of time - of what use is a judge who believes all things are pre-ordained, is he going to rubber-stamp everything that comes across the bench for fear of subverting God's Will?

  • John||

    Yes there is a self defense exception. I have a right to my own self preservation. If you are attacking me, my right to self preservation outweighs your right to self preservation. Why? Because by attacking me you created the situation where one of us must lose our lives. Since you created the situation and I the situation thrust upon me, you, not me, forfeit your life. Self defense is a totally different situation and principle than murder.

  • Michael Hihn||

    WRONG. (If you're pulling the bullshit scam against abortion)

    The rights to Life and Liberty are precisely equal. See the definition of unalienable.
    When two rights are both absolute, then neither can be superior to the other. duh.
    This can lead to conflicts between such rights.

    When such conflicts arise, the constitutional principle of conflicting rights applies. The proverbial example, "Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose," The boundary between those rights is he tip of my nose,

    That boundary may be established ONLY by the judiciary -- as a check against the other two branches who can create such conflicts. And the judiciary is obliged, by the principle, to establish a boundary that best defends BOTH rights EQUALLY. Because both are equally sovereign,

    Problems arise when defenders on EITHER side try to impose it all THEIR way -- through government force. That's statism, and can be fascisim.

    There is no right to Life in the Constitution. It's unenumerated. Like liberty. 9th and 14h Amendments.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Q: What happens when an irresistible force hits an immovable object?
    ...
    A: Hihnduh shits all over the thread!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?
    Tell us where you find a right to life in the Constitution. (lol)
    Do you agress against everyone who asks embarrassing questions?

    (self-defense of aggression by a cowardly cyber-bully)

  • SQRLSY One||

    "...God-given rights", my aching butt!

    I will now demonstrate, logically and impeccably, that Government Almighty is the boss of God Almighty…
    Here is PROOF!
    We read in the papers, every day almost, of federal judges (servants of Government Almighty) sitting in judgment (using their magical mind-reading powers) about whether or not our religious beliefs are "sincerely held", or not.
    Yet I have NEVER heard of credible evidence concerning God Almighty, sitting in judgment about whether or not our beliefs in Government Almighty are "sincerely held", or not!!!
    Brain case closed!!!  
    Take THAT, you Hinhister One you!

  • SQRLSY One||

    And now, let us all Sing a Song of Praise and Worship, to celebrate my utter crushing VICTORY over the Hinhister One!!!

    Scienfoology Song… GAWD = Government Almighty's Wrath Delivers

    Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,
    Little ones to GAWD belong,
    We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
    Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
    Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
    And gives me all that I might need!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    DEA, CIA, KGB,
    Our protectors, they will be,
    FBI, TSA, and FDA,
    With us, astride us, in every way!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

  • Michael Hihn||

    SQRLSY
    And now, let us all Sing a Song of Praise and Worship, to celebrate my utter crushing VICTORY over the Hinhister One!!!
    Scienfoology Song… GAWD = Government Almighty's Wrath Delivers

    Jackass of the centrury????

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?

    "...God-given rights", my aching butt!

    AND/OR God-given rights (snicker)

    Yet I have NEVER heard of credible evidence concerning God Almighty, sitting in judgment about whether or not our beliefs in Government Almighty are "sincerely held", or not!!!
    Brain case closed!!!  
    Take THAT, you Hinhister One you!

    BWAAAA HAAAAA HAAAA

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?
    Tell us where you find a right to life in the Constitution. (lol)
    Do you agress against everyone who asks embarrassing questions?

    NO ANSWER!!!!!! (But more aggression)

    (Posted AGAIN in self-defense of REPEATED aggression by a cowardly cyber-bully)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Makes a jackass of himself AGAIN (OMG)

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?

    "...God-given rights", my aching butt!

    AND/OR God-given rights (snicker)

    Yet I have NEVER heard of credible evidence concerning God Almighty, sitting in judgment about whether or not our beliefs in Government Almighty are "sincerely held", or not!!!
    Brain case closed!!!  
    Take THAT, you Hinhister One you!

    BWAAAA HAAAAA HAAAA

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?
    Tell us where you find a right to life in the Constitution. (lol)
    Do you agress against everyone who asks embarrassing questions?

    NO ANSWER!!!!!! (But more aggression)

    (Posted AGAIN in self-defense of REPEATED aggression by a cowardly cyber-bully)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Makes a jackass of himself AGAIN (OMG)

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?

    "...God-given rights", my aching butt!

    AND/OR God-given rights (snicker)

    Yet I have NEVER heard of credible evidence concerning God Almighty, sitting in judgment about whether or not our beliefs in Government Almighty are "sincerely held", or not!!!
    Brain case closed!!!  
    Take THAT, you Hinhister One you!

    BWAAAA HAAAAA HAAAA

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?
    Tell us where you find a right to life in the Constitution. (lol)
    Do you agress against everyone who asks embarrassing questions?

    NO ANSWER!!!!!! (But more aggression)

    (Posted AGAIN in self-defense of REPEATED aggression by a cowardly cyber-bully)

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi Hinhister One,

    Try getting a life sometime... You might like it! It beats the heck out of trolling all the time, it really does... Get a hobby or some such. You're not changing anyone's mind about anything, I can assure you of that. And... Did you have your sense of humor surgically removed? Did the FDA approve of this operation, or did you have to travel overseas?

  • Michael Hihn||

    (Will the stalker continue his aggression and assaults???)

    It beats the heck out of trolling all the time,

    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?
    Tell us where you find a right to life in the Constitution. (lol)
    Do you agress against everyone who asks embarrassing questions?

    (Will the stalker continue his aggression and assaults???

  • Michael Hihn||

    FUCKUP NUMBER FOUR!!!

    SQRLSY One|
    And now, let us all Sing a Song of Praise and Worship, to celebrate my utter crushing VICTORY over the Hinhister One!!!

    Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,

    Umm, here's the web archive of my published political writing.

    http://libertyissues.com/archive.htm

    Check all the ones on taxes and health care ... then New Federalism.

    One more time:
    Why do you oppose equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights?
    Tell us where you find a right to life in the Constitution. (lol)
    Do you agress against everyone who asks embarrassing questions?

    (posted in defense of multiple aggressions by a cowardly cyber-bully)

    And now, let us all Sing a Song of Praise and Worship, to celebrate my utter crushing VICTORY over the Hinhister One!!!

    Hihn now TWISTS what I jammed up his ass. Slowly

    (Will the stalker continue his aggression and assaults???)

  • SQRLSY One||

    Using my Government-Almighty-granted mind-reading powers, as a High Priest / Priestess of the Holy Church of Scienfoology, I now probe your mind...

    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...

    No, folks, we do NOT want to go there, trust me on this one! I will save you from the HORROR of contemplating this abyss!!!

  • Michael Hihn||

    (yawn)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Squirelly One's repeated aggressions and bullying began way back here

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6799280

    The thread speaks for itself.

    (posted in defense of serial aggression by a cyber-bully)

  • Sevo||

    "The thread speaks for itself."
    (yawn)
    Di you show those screen shots to one of the Kochs? Did they laugh in your face as you deserved?

  • Michael Hihn||

    They pay me.

  • Sevo||

    Michael Hihn|3.19.17 @ 11:42PM|#
    "They pay me."

    I guess it's possible, but I would have expected better. Do you empty the garbage?
    And are you ever going to answer the question?

  • Michael Hihn||

    And are you ever going to answer the question?

    I did. You responded to it. (snicker)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Did they laugh in your face as you deserved?

    Great minds discuss ideas.
    Average minds discuss events.
    Small Minds discuss people.

    12-year-olds call names, to feel manly,
    to offset their tiny penises,
    and tiny hands.

    And haters gotta hate.

  • Sevo||

    "Great minds discuss ideas."

    Which I just did and got your standard pile of bullshit in return.
    You are LAME!

  • Michael Hihn||

    "Great minds discuss ideas."

    Which I just did and got your standard pile of bullshit in return.

    I jammed it up your ass.

    1) I asked you what are the unenumerated rights protected in the 9th Amendment, you said the right to eat hot dogs in a ball game,

    2) You also said government ALLOWS rights, instead of DEFENDING them!

    So I jammed it up your ass and ridiculed you here:

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6799350

    Then, the assault bully sneaks over here and launches another aggression, because the precious snowflake wounded an ego he does not possess.

    So I jammed it up your ass again. And ridiculed you again.

    (Self-defense. But the bellowing blowhard will continue stalking and aggressing)

  • Azathoth!!||

    The right to life is primary because without it one can have no rights at all.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The right to life is primary because without it one can have no rights at all.

    So you're fine living under a dictatorship --- as long as they allow you to live.
    Human bondage? No problem.
    The Inquisition -- a life sentence for saying Earth was NOT rge center of the universe? Fine with you.

    I'm amazed that puerile soundbite still exists. Our founders were not so stupid. They were well aware of dictatorships ... including suppression by religion, which drove many to our shores. And slavery was still all around them.

    Go away,

  • Homple||

    Litmus test time.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Is Damon a bit biased here? Roe cited BOTH the 9th and 14th Amendments.

    The 9th explicitly and intentionally forbids ALL levels of government to "deny or disparage" unenumerated rights. Period. On THAT issue, the 14th merely reaffirmed the ban on state governments -- to offset the bullshit that the federal judiciary has no power to defend fundamental rights by state governments.

    States Rights, as opposed to Federalism, is an excuse to ignore federal rulings in defense of FUNDAMENTAL rights -- Jefferson's unalienable rights. This rejection of sovereign rights originated with southern racists and the KKK ... and lives today under extreme social conservatives and fascists like Ron Paul.

    Note that both the 9th Amendment and Declaration NEVER specify which rights are absolute. Thus, if Gorsuch says the court has no power to rule on unenumerated rights. WHO THE FUCK DEFENDS US?

    Gorsuch stands with Ron Paul who says only "rogue judges' would attempt to defend constitutional rights. He even tried to forbid homosexuals from appealing DOMA to SCOTUS -- the most blatant abuse of individual rights since slavery, Which circles back to the 14h.

    So where does Damon Root stand?

    Simple question re the 9th Amendment.

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people?"

    What are those rights ... that NO level of government may even disparage? Be specific.

  • nicmart||

    Every damned thing you can think of that arises from the right to property.

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu.....16s23.html

  • Michael Hihn||

    Now this, Sluggo,

    One more time.

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people?"

    What are those rights ... that NO level of government may even disparage? Be specific.

  • Sevo||

    Michael Hihn|3.19.17 @ 9:27PM|#
    "...What are those rights ... that NO level of government may even disparage? Be specific."

    Which is an example of the exact reason you are a laughing-stock; we could start with the "right to eat a hot-dog at a ball game!" or just begin (laughing).
    You simply do not understand; no one has to list the rights which a government allows; under a constitutional republic, the government must make a case acceptable to the population that a certain activity must be prohibited. The burden falls on the government to deny activity, not on an individual to allow such.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Behold the total jackass assault by Sevo

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people?"
    What are those rights ... that NO level of government may even disparage? Be specific"


    Which is an example of the exact reason you are a laughing-stock;

    (smirk)

    we could start with the "right to eat a hot-dog at a ball game!" or just begin (laughing).

    Sevo says the founders -- in the 9th Amendment -- protected the right to eat hotdogs at a ball game!!! Now he goes MORE bat-shit crazy!!!

    You simply do not understand; no one has to list the rights which a government allows; under a constitutional republic,

    GOVERNMENT DOES NOT "ALLOW" RIGHTS YOU FUCKING FASCIST. IT PROTECTS THEM.

    Now crazier ...

    the government must make a case acceptable to the population that a certain activity must be prohibited.

    THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.

    The burden falls on the government to deny activity, not on an individual to allow such.

    ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?
    ONE MORE TIME FOR THE MENTALLY RETARDED.
    WHAT ARE THOSE RIGHTS THAT *NO* LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT MAY DENY OR DISPARAGE? BE SPECIFIC.

    ***GOVERNMENT*** *** DOES*** ***NOT*** ***ALLOW*** ***RIGHTS***
    BWAAAAA HAAAAA HAAAA

  • Sevo||

    Just what we need; more caps and bold from Hihn.
    Pathetic.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Sevo|3.20.17 @ 12:48AM
    Just what we need; more caps and bold from Hihn, humiliating me just because I said the 9th Amendment protects my right to eat hotdogs and that government ALLOWS rights, while assaulting him

    Snowflake needs a safe zone (smirk)

    (Again posted in defense of aggression by a psycho cyber-bully)

  • SomeGuy||

    yea he didn't even understand half of what you said like a retard.

    This was comical.

    You simply do not understand; no one has to list the rights which a government allows; under a constitutional republic,
    GOVERNMENT DOES NOT "ALLOW" RIGHTS YOU FUCKING FASCIST. IT PROTECTS THEM.

  • Michael Hihn||

    He's been staking me for months. This will enrage him even more. He resumed the attack elsewhere on the page ... so I linked back to here.

    Who else punished people for Thought Crimes?

  • nicmart||

    Ugh, a Borker. My least favorite brand of conservative lawyer.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Rights are natural. Given by earth and nature.
    Let one kill their life. Peacefully. Naturally.
    None of us and our chosen governments should
    have a single say.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Assisted suicide is a tad more complex. It's like saying I have a right to defend myself in a court of law -- but no right to hire an attorney. A right has no value if it cannot be exercised.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "A right has no value if it cannot be exercised."

    A right exists- exercised or not. It is an organic expression of humanity- latent or expressed.

    A man seeking to end his life should not have to fight Micheal Hihn and his company to do so...
    'Assisted' simply means that the bullet doesn't have to bounce off a man's skull and into the wall of his garage because he cannot access the simple escape of his/her choise...

    Resisting those seeking death is to assume the role of noxious fiend- a creature no eternal angel can love.

  • Michael Hihn||

    "A right has no value if it cannot be exercised."

    A right exists- exercised or no

    But it has no value if it cannot be exercised.

    A man seeking to end his life should not have to fight Micheal Hihn and his company to do so..

    .An amazing twisting double fuckup, with a pirouetting triple salchow. The crowd erupts, as the skater crashes into the side rail and falls on his puss..

    'Assisted' simply means that the bullet doesn't have to bounce off a man's skull and into the wall of his garage because he cannot access the simple escape of his/her choice...

    As he sinks deeper into psychotic delusion,

    Resisting those seeking death is to assume the role of noxious fiend- a creature no eternal angel can love.

    You just agreed with me, chump. I think. But who can tell with your ilk?.

    Anyone else confused on this simple analogy?
    "Assisted suicide is a tad more complex. It's like saying I have a right to defend myself in a court of law -- but no right to hire an attorney. A right has no value if it cannot be exercised."

    Anyone else think I said I have no right to hire an attorney? (snort)

  • woodrow||

    This is all standard Catholic dogma. Nothing to see here. Although i think Gorsuch is protestant.

  • Michael Hihn||

    My brother-in-law, from a long ago marriage, was a Catholic priest. My wife told me, and he confirmed, personally pulling the plug on their grandmother who was terminal and in a coma. They told the story over 40 years ago. I'm agnostic, but I know compassion when I see it. And making a law against it is more bullshit for the goobers. Who'd ever know it was done?

    It's like transgender bathrooms. Trannies have been using their own bathrooms for decades. Nobody knew. Not even Ted Cruz's daughters. But the goobers believe a transsexual "decides" to change genders, puts on earrings and lipstick, like picking a favorite color, to look at women ... who, by the way, do their duty behind a closed door, for the same reason men do when sitting, and don't stand around naked in the Ladies Room.

    Bamboozling a Cruz supporter was the easiest thing on earth. Then Satan gave us The Donald.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Thick systems bottomless with secrecy lurk on the lives most distinct and often those keyboard fingers that trigger the leviathan workers who go home and then go out for burritos and skate.

    Press oddly through a Microsoft keyboard system or an Android os clacking certain configs and it is likely you will end up being chased by Mr. Smith's living on Elm Street in Utah or some such dry empty State on the edge of an uncaring shit American town.

    The nature of digital atoms are their inherent robust collectivity by mathematical systems created by fucking high IQ retards at MIT or Yale who can't tie their goddamn shoes or get home and eat dinner.

    Ties and shiny shoes created this thing on the zipping bullets of people who killed easily unstopped by billion-dollar agencies like the FBI...

    People eat, work, and die on the earth and few question the reality handed down to them.

  • Michael Hihn||

    That's almost as wacky as this.
    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6799355

    Almost

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Am I the only one that thinks Hihn comes across as a moby, here to make libertarians look bad?

  • DanO.||

    Libertarians have long been their own worst enemy.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Am I the only one that thinks Hihn comes across as a moby, here to make libertarians look bad?

    On some pages, you're the majority.

    Over 10 years ago, Cato found the libertarian brand rejected by 91% of libertarians. A Brand Preference survey. First, they found 59% of Americans would self-describe as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" VALUES. Then they tested brands, two groups.

    One group was asked if they'd LABEL themselves "fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian.." 25% rejection.

    The second was asked if they'd label themselves "libertarian," Only 9% would. In marketing terms, that's "toxic" - deadly. Scroll down to How libertarians see themselves (bold subhead)

    Are we in a libertarian moment?!! (lol)

    It's the gummint-haters who destroyed it all. Liberty lovers have little to offer, in a political culture driven by hatred.

    They hate ME because I've been speaking Truth to Power since the '60s, which spawned our movement. I DARE to reveal the survey of their shame. And they're bullies, launching aggression against "thought crimes."

    In a free market Americans ALWAYS supported treatment for low-incomes, voluntarily. Liberty lovers would transition back to that. Gummint haters babble theories to deny their inhumanity, in the most humanitarian nation on earth.

    Howzat?

  • ||

  • straffinrun||

    Maybe I'll take a look at Reason again. *Checks comments*. Totally redeemed yourself.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online