I actually wasn't arguing against Proposition 73 in my last message, but simply questioning your rejection of the existence of a right to privacy in general. I agree with you that there should not be a legal "right to privacy" with regard to one's own parents when one is a minor. In other words, I don't think it should be illegal for someone to tell parents that a minor who is their dependent is considering an abortion -- but neither in my opinion should informing the parents be *required* by law.
But getting back to the more general matter of privacy, there are many different ways of "seeing" things, as you seem to realize from the quotation marks you have used around the term "sees." Courts in the United States have often based their rulings on the issue of whether or not a person has an "expectation" of privacy in a particular case. I don't think that's good enough, because it suggests that having one's email and phone calls monitored by the CIA would be acceptable if the practice were so commonplace that most people no longer expected such communications to be private.
Prosecutors could argue (and probably have) that the police or the FBI listening in on a phone call or intercepting an email or fax is no more violating anyone's privacy than is a citizen who listens to the conversations of law enforcement officials on a police band radio, or uses binoculars to spy from a distance on someone in a public park who thinks she is alone and unobserved -- they're merely using more sophisticated equipment. And they would have a point, which is why privacy issues are very much a slippery slope.
I'm undecided as to how much leeway I think individuals and non-government entities should have to use technological means of "seeing" into each others' lives -- I do feel that at *some* point such "seeing" constitutes a clear violation of a person's right to privacy and should be illegal, but I can't say exactly where that point should be. But when it comes to "seeing" by those who control and enforce the law, I have no trouble at all favoring sweeping restrictions on the ability to engage in anything remotely resembling a search unless a judge has agreed in writing, in advance, in an official public document, that there is probable cause. What do you think?
Yours in liberty,
<<< Starchild >>>
We’ve had this discussion before on this list. Freedom from unreasonable searches is not the same as privacy. If you leave yourself wide open and someone “sees” something you made available to them, that’s not an unreasonable search. A child who seeks government enforced “privacy” protection from their parents is using the state to shield themselves from their obligations to their parents. This is similar to the way politically connected mercantilists use the law to protect them from competition. It’s not about rights at all. It’s about politicians inserting themselves into a private matter for its own benefit.
The reason this issue is different from other surgeries is that there are few medical procedures as controversial as abortion. Parents won’t get freaked out if their kids get stitches from a fall in the playground and the kids won’t mind telling them. But this is different and acknowledging the parent’s authority in this is the only natural rights approach. Inserting government into this has nothing to do with any right whatsoever no matter how one feels about the issue.
Here a “minor” under the care and authority of their parents is granted (by government) “privacy” from the party responsible for them legally. This is a serious intervention when the state suggests the interests of a minor child are better served better by government enforces privacy than the direct involvement of the parents themselves. Why does the state feel this is an issue where privacy is important for an abortion but getting an appendectomy isn’t? The reason is that powerful political interests in California have an agenda regarding this issue not shared by all parents. So what’s the Libertarian solution? Do we use government and politics to make the decision or do we turn it back to the parents of the minor children much like “states’ rights”? Or do we use government force to undermine the role of parents with their children upsetting the traditional family relationship and its historic responsibilities as detractors from Prop 73 suggest? Absolutely not!
Asking the government to affirm a “right” to privacy for a minor child is in no way related to a “right” to defend one’s self. A parents’ right to their authority over their child is not to be interfered with by government. The child is subsidiary to the parent until they are on their own. Any Libertarian thinking the state should intervene in this private family relationship short of outright parental violence needs to get their heads screwed on straight.
From:firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf OfStarchild
Sent: Saturday, October 22, 2005 8:16 PM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Re: Prop 73
I thought the right to privacy was the underlying basis for the 4th Amendment's specific prohibition on unreasonable searches. If there is no right to privacy, then what's wrong with a warrantless search? I can't believe that your response to government listening in on random phone calls would be that people making calls which can be so easily monitored simply have not paid for enough privacy.
The philosophy that "one only has the rights that one pays for" could be more readily argued in the case of firearms, since all that's needed for one's privacy to be intact is for one to be left alone, while for one to have guns, someone else must act to provide them (barring self-manufacture, of course). If you are not prepared to argue that the right to keep and bear arms does not exist, how can you argue that the right to privacy does not exist? The fact that the right to keep and bear arms is explicitly listed in the Second Amendment should not be a major consideration here -- virtually every Libertarian knows that the Bill of Rights does not give us any rights, it merely lists *some* of the rights we already have as protection against government taking them away.
Yours in liberty,
<<< Starchild >>>
Here’s the background….the court struck down parental consent because of the “right to privacy”. Every Libertarian knows there’s no “right” to privacy. One only gets the privacy they pay for. The CA Supreme Court decision that led to this proposition was bogus. While not perfect, this is a way to move this decision back. It has nothing to do with abortion, conservative values or “superstition”.
In 1997, the California Supreme Court struck down a
state law that required parental consent for a minor to have
an abortion on the grounds that it violated the right to privacy
in the state Constitution.
Currently, 26 states have waiting period laws, 20 require
parental consent, and 13 require parental notification. Eight-
een states have no parental notification or consent require-
ment, either because such laws were never adopted (CT, HI,
NY, WA, OR, VT, WA) or because courts have invalidated existing laws
(AK, CA, FL, IA, IL, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NM, OK).
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