Rick Santorum: Will Anti-Romney Voters Embrace Anti-Privacy Values?

The close second place victory of Rick Santorum in Iowa has elevated the latest choice of Republican for the anti-Romney candidate. Civil libertarians, of course, are well acquainted with Santorum who lost his Pennsylvania seat due to his extremist views. Santorum has outdone his opponents in appealing to evangelical voters by not just virtually promising to go to war upon being elected but is opposed to the Griswold decision.


Santorum believes that the states have a right to criminalize private conduct considered immoral, including the right to use contraceptives. He allows a strong view of states rights to negate the protections of the bill of rights — allowing the 10th Amendment to wipe out the first eight amendment that precede it.

Santorum insists that “[t]he state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have. That is the thing I have said about the activism of the supreme court, they are creating right, and they should be left up to the people to decide. You shouldn’t create constitutional rights when states do dumb things. . . Let the people decide if the states are doing dumb things get rid of the legislature and replace them as opposed to creating constitutional laws that have consequences that were before them.” But, of course, that is a virtual invitation to majoritarian terror. What is the majority likes such “dumb things” as prejudice against those with alternative lifestyles or moral viewpoints.

Santorum’s greatest threat to civil liberties is found in the area of privacy. He is an advocate of morality codes and laws that cannot be enforced without shredding principles of privacy. Santorum believes that political power means the right to impose a moral agenda: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

It is the very view rejected in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), where the Court struck down a law criminalizing the sale of contraceptives to married couples. In Griswold, Justice William O. Douglas wrote:

We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights – older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions.

He appears to embrace the view of Potter Stewart that a law (as Stewart) can be “uncommonly silly” but still constitutional. However, that law denied the right of couples to control their own conception. It is a bit more than “silly” for most civil libertarians and libertarians.

Santorum’s views present a clear and present danger to privacy in this country. While he has not raised the image of federal judges being frog marched to Capitol Hill, his legal vision appears frozen in the amber of 1950s jurisprudence, if not the 1850s.

75 thoughts on “Rick Santorum: Will Anti-Romney Voters Embrace Anti-Privacy Values?

  1. Gene,🙂 OK, but you know, the mind still recoils in self defense.🙂

    Rafflaw, never say never. Who in the GOP would have thought their creature would have turn on them and carry off their bride.🙂

  2. I would like to have such a fine log also, in case I had the opportunity to meet a couple of candidates. Think of presenting a corsage, only different.

  3. Santo Rum is a product in Sicily. When Rick’s grandaddy worked his way through Ellis Island they changed his name to Santorum from Sanitarium.

  4. The Framers of the Bill of Rights ordinated the ten propositions and some would say that there is an order of importance and an order or sequence such that one stands on the previous statements. That the Tenth Amendment follows the Ninth has no consequence to the dim witted who hold the Tenth Amendment on a mighty pedestal. “States Rights!” these fellows have proclaimed with reverence since the days of Jim Crow. What on Earth is the Federal Government doing intruding on the right of a mob to lynch a negro? That, they proclaimed is a matter for States Rights. Nowdays the rednecks and bigots dont rattle the States Rights sword in support of lynchings.

    Here is the text of the Ninth Amendment followed by the Tenth:

    Amendment IX [ Annotations ]
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X [ Annotations ]
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Thus it is a simple proposition understood by most Fifth Graders in this nation that there are rights retained by the people which are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution by which can not be denied The Constitution speaks to Powers and Rights. By reading the 9th and 19th together it is a slam dunk, state rights are not state powers and state rights do not trump individual rights retained by the people. State “rights” are not referenced in the Tenth Amendment. Consider that Santorum.

    We will say it again Rick. There is no enumerated Power set forth in the Constitution allowing a state or the federal government to deny people the right to marry, have sex, read a book or a blog, cover their private parts, hide their diary, fart in public, or engage in sex with a condom. The Tenth Amendment, Mister Santorum, speaks to state powers not delegated to the United States. The words states rights are not found therein.

    So get it straight–Santo Rum: The Ninth Amendment speaks of RIGHTS either enumerated in the Constitution or retained by the people. The Tenth Amendment does not speak to RIGHTS of people. It speaks to Powers not delegated to the feds which are reserved to the states.

    Powers are not rights schmucko. You could not run for Class President of the Fifth Grade on your dumb reading of the Tenth Amendment.

  5. All hopes of averting certain calamity is already gone. We’re in the suffering stages now and, as it picks up speed and ever more people are affected we’ll see just how poorly the corporate agenda has helped mankind. We’re polluting our planet beyond habitability and killing ourselves in the process. No leadership in our country is doing the entire world a disservice and condemning us all to a dismal future.

  6. Angry Man – in 2000 Nader used that same logic to suggest we would all be better off if Boy Blunder won. 4 years under his rule would convince the nation that we needed a different direction. How did that work out for us?

    While I am disappointed in Obama and the entire Democratic party I don’t see any choice but to fight for them in election years and with them while they are in office. We have gotten so far off track that Obama is to the right of Reagan on many issues yet he is labeled a socialist. It will take a generation to get back to sanity (if ever). Past my time left but maybe I can save my grandchildren’s world.

  7. Seating grand juries to probe matters of war crimes and grand theft would be a good start.

    The pardon pen of Gerald Ford told little Cheneys and Rummies and Wolfies exactly what the consequences would be for the subversion of government: nothing, nothing at all.

    The resulting nightmare continues apace. Only perp-walks can solve this at this point.

  8. About a year ago, once it was clear that Obama was exceeding my most dire predictions, I told myself I’d vote for anyone but him. As the election gets closer, I’m starting to waver. But sadly, I do believe that in order for meaningful change to happen in this country, there will need to be blood. And the quickest way of bringing things to a head is to put someone like a Bachman and now a Santorum in there. To those worried about disappearing women’s rights, do you really think American women would take that lying down? The only way to open people’s eyes to the road we’re heading down is to give republicans the chance to make it happen. Then, sooner or later, they’ll cross a few too many lines, and the people will bite back, hard, like Wisconsin times 10. Undoubtedly, the government will bite back even harder, but I truly believe that that’s the only way things will change. I feel kind of selfish for saying this because I’m relatively young with no kids. I do have a niece, and that gives me pause, but if we allow this corporatocracy to perpetuate itself, we’re not doing our descendants any favors.
    Uggg, I don’t know.

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