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Posts Tagged ‘rights’

John Roberts’s verdict? Health care is not a right

July 3rd, 2012

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This piece was originally posted on Politico.

“The mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his health care ruling last week. It’s not? Really? It sure sounds like it. No, Roberts insisted, “It makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.”

With that bit of sophistry, the Supreme Court upheld the health care law and refrained from throwing some 50 million Americans off health insurance. Democrats are thrilled. They don’t really care how the Court got there as long as the court got there.

But it does make a difference how it got there. Because what the Court did was deny that health care is a right. In the Court’s view, the right to health care has no constitutionally protected status like abortion rights or gun rights. It’s just a benefit. Rights can’t be taken away. Benefits can. Read the rest of this entry »

Gay marriage: Don’t make it about ‘rights’

March 21st, 2011

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This piece was originally published in the Baltimore Sun.

“What do we want? EQUAL RIGHTS! When do we want them? NOW!”

Catchy — but it doesn’t sound much like a wedding vow.

When couples make that lifetime commitment to each other in front of friends and family on one of the biggest days of their lives, few of them cite the 1,138 federal rights they will gain by making the promise of marriage. And the words “tax benefits” rarely come up in the best man’s toast.

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Moving the middle on marriage

August 19th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

This month, a federal district court judge in California struck down Proposition 8 — the state ballot measure that banned gay and lesbian couples from marrying — as unconstitutional, and the case is most likely to be settled by the Supreme Court. Although the decision has been stayed, many understandably saw it as a victory and perhaps an indication that legal arguments — not public persuasion — are going to be the fastest way to bring about equality.

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Grandma Knows Best

February 5th, 2010

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This piece was originally posted on the Huffington Post.

An elderly woman sits with her grandson.  She begins to tell the story of her family and her Catholic faith. She talks about her core values and says, “Marriage to me is a great institution. It works, and it’s what I want for my children, too.”

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