top of page
Many people will argue, with an eye toward the awkward manipulations of that excuse by the Supreme Court in “Roe v. Wade,” that the Constitution grants no right of privacy. Well, in the first place, the Constitution grants no natural rights – these are “endowed by their creator.” The Constitution does grant certain political rights, such as having legal counsel when you are on trial, or having a vote if you meet certain criteria; but all the other rights are “natural” and the role of the Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, is to recognize that those rights always existed, and the government has been granted no power to infringe on them. The right to privacy is a natural right. It is not mentioned directly in the Constitution, but there are numerous sections where aspects of it are protected, and one general provision does, indeed, defend it. The 3rd Amendment protects your home from being used by government, recognizing your right to privacy within the walls that are your home. The 4th Amendment denies the government from searching or seizing you, your home, your papers, and your “effects” unless they can first show a criminal act might be prevented or solved by searching or seizing you or your stuff. That protects your privacy from such overt intrusions. Most important in my opinion, however, the 9th Amendment blocks the government from “denying or disparaging” all the rights that are too numerous to have been listed individually in the Bill of Rights. The right to Privacy is, while not being named there, clearly a right that people then were willing to fight to defend. It has been recognized in many court decisions, my favorite being:
“The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. … They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone-the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."
Olmstead v. U.S. 277 U.S. 438, 1928 Justice Brandeis
bottom of page