Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Constitutional Conventions

Alabama just took a step towards replacing its current two-full-volumes-of-the-code-occupying constitution. It may be time to start paying attention to this debate.

In sort of related news, a federal judge recently argued that the country needs to hold a constitutional referendum on the 'right to privacy.' Anyone interested in an intelligent discussion of that oft-criticized right needs to read this article.

Did you know, for instance, that the rights to marry, to have children, and to educate children in private (or home) schools are all derived from the same source as is the right to an abortion: The right to privacy. That does not mean all these specific applications have an equal claim to validity. But, I think, it does mean arguments against one or more of them should focus on that specific application of the right to privacy, rather than on the right to privacy itself. Getting rid of the right to privacy altogether may have many unintended consequences.