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I was in a debate with another Kossack yesterday about rights, what constitutes denial of rights and unequal rights, etc.

So, I'm going to create a civil right (meaning, a right legally enshrined in our Constitution's amendments), put forth twos scenario below the squiggle, and then you guys have at it!

Let's keep the debate robust but polite. No need to lambast or insult anyone for having a different opinion.

Scenario 1:

There is an Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing necessary preventative and surgical healthcare for all US citizens. Though it's a federal program, it's administered through the States. A minimum expectation of services is set.

4 states go above and beyond that minimum, and choose to include elective cosmetic surgery (not face-fixing from a chimpanzee mauling; we're talking nose-jobs, eyebrow lifts) and gender-transition surgery in their universal offerings.

Is a citizen who resides in a state that is NOT one of the 4 listed above having their rights violated by not having access to the cosmetic and gender-transition surgeries? Assume you must be a citizen of one of those 4 states and have lived there for a year prior to becoming eligible for those additional services.

Scenario 2:

The SCOTUS decides that the 2nd Amendment covers mace, and that all US citizens have a right to mace of a minimum strength of 4 peppers (i made that strength measurement up). 16 states pass laws allowing their citizens to possess mace up to 8 peppers, while the rest of the states pass laws specifically limiting mace strength carried by civilians at the 4 pepper strength. Are the citizens of the 34 states limited at 4 peppers having their civil rights violated? Assume citizens of the 16 states cannot possess the 8-pepper strength mace in those states.

Have at it! Very interested to see the responses.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:51:25 AM PST

  •  Perhaps give the RL example? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    I don't see how you're set this up for a debate.  In both cases the rather obvious answer in these cases is "No, their rights aren't being violated."   But the way you've set up the 'debate' doesn't really yield any other reasonable answer that I can see, even as a toy debate.

    If you're trying to use this to prove your point in your meta argment that you allude to, perhaps you should just get to the real life example?

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:57:43 AM PST

    •  Oh, no I wasn't trying to steer anything my way. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostboyjim

      And I'm not sure it's so obvious an answer to everyone.

      The debate centered around whether it's a violation of someone in NY state's rights if someone in another state can possess different, and assumingly more powerful, guns than they can, if NY state's laws are not so restrictive that they violate the 2nd per a SCOTUS ruling. IMO the same thing as in my diary.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:00:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Equal Protection of the Laws does not require (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton

        states to pass the same laws or offer the same protections. Equality within the state under state law and within the US under Federal law is more or less required. A major exception is that US citizens in the territories do not have to be offered the same protections as citizens of states.

        This has been decided in many SCOTUS cases, including voting rights, labor rights, and others. The Bill of Rights and the rights in the body of the Constitution apply to all citizens, and sometimes to non-citizens residing in or even just visiting the US.

        Except when they don't, of course. The fundamental rule of Constitutional law is Catch-22:

        We have the right to do anything you can't prevent us from doing.
        Thus Jim Crow before Brown v Board and Loving v Virginia, among others.

        Thus Too Big to Fail, To Big to Prosecute, secret prisons and torture before Obama declared them off limits, warrantless wiretapping, detention without trial, drone warfare in countries where we are not at war, government assassinations of US citizens without trial, the War on Drugs, the War on Women, the War on Science, everything but a War on War.

        It is up to the citizens to use existing law (as interpreted up to the moment by the courts, and occasionally changed, as in Plessey v Ferguson v Brown v Board), the ballot box, the courts, community organizing, and public pointing and laughing to prevent them from doing whatever they want. It is also up to us to spread the word to the young that they don't have to buy in to the nonsense that their parents and grandparents and preachers and friends and other relations are peddling.

        And to put an end to the filibuster and the gerrymander, and get the Democratic majority out to vote.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:56:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about gay rights? (0+ / 0-)

        We have some states with more permissive laws regarding marriage equality:  I can get married in Iowa, but not in Texas.  Currently SCOTUS says Texas is good enough (because they can't, you know, arrest me for having sex in my own bedroom any more).  

        If you look at it in terms of gay rights instead of gun laws, does it change your analysis?

        Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

        by lostboyjim on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 12:14:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, because gay marriage is not a civil right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostboyjim

          on the federal level, enshrined in the constitution. At least not until the SCOTUS says it is, much to all of our chagrin!

          So, that situation doesn't apply.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:20:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Careful...that wasn't really my argument (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoGoGoEverton

            Following your format:

            The SCOTUS decides that the 2nd Amendment covers mace, and that all US citizens have a right to mace of a minimum strength of 4 peppers (i made that strength measurement up). 16 states pass laws allowing their citizens to possess mace up to 8 peppers, while the rest of the states pass laws specifically limiting mace strength carried by civilians at the 4 pepper strength. Are the citizens of the 34 states limited at 4 peppers having their civil rights violated? Assume citizens of the 16 states cannot possess the 8-pepper strength mace in those states.
            The SCOTUS decided (in Lawrence v Texas) that gays can have sex in their bedrooms without fear of prosecution, that is, they have that civil right.  Some states have expanded that right to also include the fact that they can work without getting fired, or have housing without fear of being remove for their sexual orientation. Some states have even granted Marriage Equality.  If you live in  a stat that hasn't done any of that, are your civil rights as a gay man being violated?

            Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

            by lostboyjim on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:47:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I suggest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    I suggest that if the constitution sets a minimum standard for healthcare, then there is no loss of rights for those residents of states that offer care that meets but does not exceed the minimum standards set by the constitution.  Even if there are other states that offer care beyond the minimum standards.

     

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:03:17 AM PST

  •  Gender re-assignment (0+ / 0-)

    Is not "elective" in the sense that most reputable surgeons will ensure that there a real medical reasons for the surgery. Hopefully it is not simply a matter of surgery but a whole process of living as the alternative sex for a period before starting the chemical process and eventual surgery.

    You might like to know that gender re-assignment is available free in England under the NHS scheme.

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:09:02 AM PST

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