Roberts on the Right to Privacy
The term “right to privacy” has, in the debate over the Supreme Court, become a code-word for a woman’s right to abortion (or more specifically, to a liberty to choose without government interference.)
As someone who believes that privacy is broader than that, I was very pleased to see that Roberts said:
“Senator, I do. The right to privacy is protected under the Constitution in various ways. It’s protected by the Fourth Amendment which provides that the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, effects and papers is protected. It’s protected under the First Amendment dealing with prohibition on establishment of a religion and guarantee of free exercise. It protects privacy in matters of conscience. It was protected by the framers in areas that were of particular concern to them. It may not seem so significant today: the Third Amendment, protecting their homes against the quartering of troops. And in addition, the court has — it was a series of decisions going back 80 years — has recognized that personal privacy is a component of the liberty protected by the due process clause. The court has explained that the liberty protected is not limited to freedom from physical restraint and that it’s protected not simply procedurally, but as a substantive matter as well. And those decisions have sketched out, over a period of 80 years, certain aspects of privacy that are protected as part of the liberty in the due process clause under the Constitution.”
I’m heartened to see that Roberts is thinking in this way about privacy. He’s probably quite concerned about his privacy, and silly things he may have said or done He probably doesn’t have many of those skeletons in his closet. Nonetheless, he’s very aware that something that he thinks of as minor, could, if publicized, derail his nomination. And so he sees a value of privacy.
Quote taken from the Privacy Law Blog, “John Roberts & the Right to Privacy – Part 5.” Ray Everett Church has more in “Nominee Says Constitution Includes Privacy Rights.” The slide is from “ Paying for Privacy: Consumers and Infrastructures” which I presented at the 2nd workshop on economics and information security.