What is this thing called “inalienable rights”?

A Dishonest Tribe 

By Mustang

“Friday was a singular day in our history: the first day in living memory that Americans went to bed with fewer inalienable rights than they had when they woke up.  Not just in living memory.  Ever.”   –Laurence Henry Tribe

Dr. Tribe is an intellectual.  He is degreed in both mathematics and the law, and in the law, a long-acknowledged Constitutional scholar at Harvard Law and one of several responsible for teaching law to such as Barack Obama, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Merrick Garland, and Ted Cruz.

He is also full of malarky.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the matter of Dobbs v. Mississippi took away no rights at all.  Let us examine carefully what Dr. Tribe said.  “… Americans went to bed with fewer inalienable rights than they had when they woke up.”

What is an inalienable right? 

It is an entitlement incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred.  Some would argue, a right accorded to mankind by God; freedom beyond other men’s power (or right) to strip away.  In Dr. Tribe’s context, one might question his claim that God ever gave human beings the right to kill their unborn child.

Any time someone on the political left argues the merits of inalienable rights, they present themselves with something of a dilemma: since few on the left believe in God, how can a non-entity offer an inalienable right?  And if an inalienable right isn’t one given to us by the Creator, then where did it come from — and what underlying principle makes it sacrosanct?

Perhaps our confusion comes from the use of the word “rights.” There is a vast difference between human behavior and human rights.  A person may offend society — and many do — but that doesn’t make anyone entitled to offend society.  If someone does “offend” the community, that person should anticipate that if outraged, society will punish them for that offense.  Murder, rape, incest, or torture are some things offensive to society.  Murder, as an example, is NOT an inalienable right.  No one is entitled to murder anyone else.  God’s law tells us that.

Competing interests 

Then we enter the world of competing interests.  Given “an entitlement,” our lawyers and judges often struggle with this question: Who among us is more entitled?  One popular refrain is that a woman has the inalienable right to choose what to do or not to do with her own body.  This argument states that if a woman carries a child, she has the inalienable right to dispose of it before full-term delivery.  There are three camps: those who believe this is true, those who don’t, and those who don’t care one way or the other.

We have another point of view, although it isn’t popular.  A woman would not have a child to deliver were it not for a man’s sperm.  No sperm, no child.  Does this give a woman’s male partner a greater say in the unborn child’s rights?  Can the law consign a woman to full-term pregnancy if her male partner demands it?  I now hear angry voices; what is the matter with me?  And yet, if a woman consents to accept a man’s sperm, does she not commit herself to the possibility of pregnancy?  It’s a complex issue — it is why we have jurists and a system of courts to entertain such questions.

baby bentrupbaby bentrup” by paparutzi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

But Dr. Tribe is wrong to suggest that the Dobb v. Mississippi decision was an assault on anyone’s inalienable rights or that it was the first time in history that such a thing happened.  Both arguments offer a profound stretch — and it’s either political or intellectually dishonest.  I would think that an example of a breach of our inalienable rights might include intentionally infecting unsuspecting black men with syphilis

In any case, Dobbs was not a question of civil rights.  The high court’s decision (6-3) only reaffirmed that the federal government has certain enumerated powers; the high court granting constitutional rights to people where none exist isn’t one of them.

Whether or not there shall be a “lawful murder” of an unborn child isn’t a federal matter; it is an issue that belongs to the states.  This was the challenge in Dobbs v. Mississippi.  And, just because Dr. Tribe didn’t like that decision doesn’t invalidate it.

And by the way, Roe v. Wade is just the tip of that iceberg.  What about the right of Mormons to polygamous marriage?  What about the right to pray in school?  What about the right to keep and bear arms? We might wonder where Dr. Tribes’ objections were when the American left began to argue that there is no right to free speech if it hurts someone’s feelings. What was it that the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union once told us?  Ah, right — The struggle for liberty never stays won.

Laurence Henry Tribe is a progressive/communist hack.  By this, I mean that he is dishonest and un-American — a pox on him.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

20 Responses to “What is this thing called “inalienable rights”?”

  1. Baysider Says:

    “Any time someone on the political left argues the merits of inalienable rights, they present themselves with something of a dilemma: since few on the left believe in God, how can a non-entity offer an inalienable right? And if an inalienable right isn’t one given to us by the Creator, then where did it come from — and what underlying principle makes it sacrosanct?” Because I said so, that’s what. Yup, that’s what we’re left with.

    This is so well phrased that I put it in my database to recycle when needed. In order for a right to be inalienable it must be given and secured by a higher power. The higher the power, the more secure. You correctly note that our founders took that power to be “God.” However various individuals conceived of His interplay in their lives, He was definitely their highest conceivable power.

    And the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY? Puleeze! Where has Rip Van Winkle Tribe been the last 28 months? It’s not just private social media companies but government boards and agencies empowered by the State to license medical doctors that have landed BIG TIME to quash the first amendment and deprive them of their livelihood if they exercise that right. Plus they have actively worked with the privates to do as much damage as possible to Amendment No. 1. He claims to be a constitutional scholar? Where did he stop reading? At “ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” perhaps.
    Yes, yes, CRT and more.

    We know they don’t truly want to stop misinformation or they’d muzzle Tony Fauci and Joe Biden, among many.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mustang Says:

      Alinsky Rule: Whenever you get accused of propagating misinformation, use misinformation to accuse your accuser of misinformation and keep doing that until your opponent’s head explodes. Whatever your opponent accuses you of, accuse them of the same thing, and strive to keep all the back and forth at a level that even a six-year-old will understand.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Baysider Says:

        Misplaced equivalence! Example:

        During Senate hearings over human rights abuses Diane Feinstein called China’s abuses “Beijing’s human rights posture” then turned her guns on America for preaching to others what they don’t always practice. She also moved to create a Human Rights Abuse Panel to study it in both China and the U.S. – thus diminishing the egregious abuses by the commies by throwing a few of our own in. She suggested the committee look at the successes and failures of both Tiananmen Square and Kent State. Wow. Let’s talk about that, the similarities in pain between treating a dog bite and amputating your legs. “We all do it. Nothing special about America to see.”


    • bunkerville Says:

      The left is never really going to destroy this country. Why? Because they ALWAYS go too far. Moderate progressive concepts are invariably twisted into perversion and insanity. To sanction the murder of a child at the moment of birth is madness. It’s not a “choice,” it’s madness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kidme37 Says:

    That freedom is not passed down in the bloodstream becomes more apparent by the minute.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mustang Says:

      All the words we use, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, have become mere platitudes that no one on the left believes in, but they utter them anyway … while working to impellent Marxist policies and processes that will (they hope) un-do everything that Americans have died to preserve for the past 250 years. It isn’t a mere coincidence that people like Tribe have infiltrated all of our colleges, universities, and K-12 schoolhouses.

      Liked by 3 people

      • kidme37 Says:

        Leftism, Marxism, Communism, whatever you want to call it – is suicidal by nature.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Baysider Says:

        These subversive actors have long not reported what happened, but what they wanted to have happened. In this case, a constitutional correction long overdue is made out to be the end of the republic (ignoring so many things that ARE the end of the republic).

        A NYT reporter in the 60’s was lionized and lauded for lies he reported about Vietnam. Decades later, and with his Pulitzer safely in hand, he admitted publicly he lied. He reported Buddhist monk protests as he wished it had happened, which was almost the opposite of what happened. That lie turned the rudder of U.S. policy in Vietnam in a way that served his career much better than it served the people of Vietnam. While it is never safe to claim “and 50,000 men died because of his lie” – because there were so many other stupid things we did – his lie certainly puts blood on his hands.

        A generation earlier Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon) noted that 1936 was the end of history. That’s because many reporters in the Spanish civil war wrote what they wished had happened, not what actually happened. Fierce battles that never took place were reported in lieu of fierce battles that did take place and were ignored. But the reporting shaped misconceptions now etched as fact in history.

        Notice what these 2 big lie events have as a common denominator? (and we might as well throw a 3rd – the great death-by-diseases-of-malnutrition-but-no-famine-to-see-here-in-Ukraine lie of the 1930’s) Yeah – Commies! “working to impellent Marxist policies and processes that will (they hope) un-do everything that Americans have died to preserve.” As Dennis Prager says often, “for the left, truth is not a value.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mustang Says:

        @ Baysider

        What you say is true. What was (and continues to be) missing from the U.S. government is the kind of resolve we had in World War II. We lost our national resolve somewhere around Harry S. Truman and only got it back (temporarily) during the Reagan years. Since then … it’s hard to tell the difference between the out-and-out communists (Democrats, for the lack of a better word), and their enablers (the RINOs and “Compassionate conservatives”). True Americans respond well to positive leadership. We haven’t had any recent examples, which means that probably more than half of the nation doesn’t even know what I’m talking about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Baysider Says:

        Speaking of losing our national resolve, I’m reading the book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character by Diana West. “American Betrayal lights up the massive, Moscow-directed penetration of America’s most hallowed halls of power, revealing not just the familiar struggle between Communism and the Free World, but the hidden and unceasing war between those wishing to conceal the truth and those trying to expose the official web of lies. Diana West focuses on the World War II – Cold War deal with the devil in which America surrendered her principles in exchange for a series of Big Lies whose preservation is the basis of the tryanny of the “Swamp” today.

        It was this moral surrender to deception and self-deception, West argues, that sent us down the long road to moral relativism and “political correctness.”

        In other words, there was a lot of help directed by other unfriendly powers to help us lose our nation resolve, our sense of who we are and our mission and purpose. All that brought into question, assisted by at least 500 Soviet plants in our government and education institutions from FDR on, wearing away at our identity and the best aspects of our American character.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Baysider Says:

        More…. Which is how we ended up with a ridiculous situation of Obama giving a 2001 radio interview in Chicago in which he bemoaned constitutional restraints on state powers and the Warren court did not venture into the redistribution of wealth. He lauded community organizer activism as the way to bring about “redistributive change.” No hope – just re-distribution. And this clown ended up in the white house with a long entourage of termites.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. markone1blog Says:

    So Mr. Tribe estimates that I have an “inalienable right” (thence, a right bestowed by God and can only be denied by man) that has been taken away by the Supreme Court? Mind you, had the Alito majority not “taken” something “found” in the Fourteenth Amendment by the Blackmun majority, I still would not be able to exercise this “right” due to my birth biology.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nrringlee Says:

    He is also famous for invoking the militia clause of the Second Amerndment in order to curtail the natural law based right to keep and bear arms. And he ate his words. Sadly there are a lot of disengaged clowns who still invoke his thinking on the subject long after he disavowed the thought.

    But here is the lesson: for progressives and the left in general ideology trumps ideas. When they rant in their echo chamber all sounds good and reasonable. When their ideas are exposed to the light and salt of free debate on an open forum, not so much. Folks who have good memories excel in contemporary academia. Memory does not necessarily gift you with analytical skills. This is worth pondering.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Bill Heffner Says:

    I would like to think this is a return to the United States as a federal republic, since it returns the decision to the individual states, but we all know it is not. The Supremes also said in the ruling that there can be a federal mandate if Congress passes a law providing for that mandate. And so the federal republic goes down in flames again.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mustang Says:

      I don’t see how a law passed by Congress could be constitutional, so if the morons in the House tried to ram through something on that order, it would only end up back in front of the SCOTUS. I don’t think a Constitutional Amendment would work, either. In any case, any or all of that probably won’t occur until after the expiration of my shelf-life. As Kid suggests, and as Reagan pointed out, we are only one generation away from living under a totalitarian regime.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill Heffner Says:

        What in the constitution would preclude a federal law permitting abortion? There is no provision in the constitution with regard to marriage, but the Court ruled that a federal law guaranteeing same sex marriage is constitutional.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mustang Says:

        Of course, and you always offer an interesting debate. We both know that the congress will do whatever it wants. But if someone were to argue on the merits, he might suggest that while queer marriage may be permissible under civil rights legislation, it would be hard to make that same argument over the “murder” of an infant in the womb. There is no civil right for taking a life. Just a thought (and it is late in the evening).

        Thanks for the reply, Bill.

        Liked by 1 person

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