Here’s a video which contains part of a brief, impromptu interview I did with Ann-Marie Murrell of The Patriot Update. Not surprisingly, our discussion focused on privacy issues, even at a party in Hollywood! (Interview with me starts at 8:24.)
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The Supreme Court treats rights as a type of balancing test. It judges what type of “scrutiny” to apply to the question of rights depending on what the victim class is. So anything to do with race gets “strict scrutiny” but anything to do with property or contract gets “rational basis” which in practice means the court rubber stamps whatever the legislature wants. This seems totally collectivist to me.
Would you agree that the main problem with our legal system is that there is no recognition that the initiation of physical force is the only way to violate rights? It seems that the American legal system does not actually believe in rights but in privileges. All we have are privileges that must be “balanced” with the the state’s “competing interest”. What a hopelessly corrupt system. If Rand’s view of rights was accepted, privacy would not be an issue as it would be easy to know when a privacy expectation was present. We could easily look to property and contract.
Non related question: Where you at the 1994 Objectivist summer conference in New Jersey (it was near the Meadowlands)? I’m just trying to test my memory. Either I’m right and you were there or I have Alzheimer’s.
Yes to both questions. On the first: Our government no longer limits itself to the protection of rights, and often protects “interests” via an assortment of maddening balancing tests. While the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test is one that is applied in the realm of constitutional law, the tort law of privacy is similar in its essence. From the beginning, as first proposed by Warren and Brandeis in 1890, it was stated that any protection of the tort “right” to privacy would have to be balanced with the “interests of society.”
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