Thursday, March 20, 2008

The 14th Amendment should be interpreted to provide more economic liberties.

George F. Will made an interesting point in a recent column. He stated, " The 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process of law should mean that government may interfere with a citizen's economic liberty only to promote important government interests that cannot be advanced through less restrictive means." (emphasis added). What this means is that economic rights would have about the same level of protection that abortion and sodomy have been provided. (Both of which, we assert, we believe are neither founded in the Constitution or the history or customs of the American people. But we digress). Instead, by providing heightened scrutiny over government regulations related to economic rights, this would make it far more difficult for a potential President Obama or President Clinton to impose their harmful, ill-considered economic regulations. They would have to prove that their economic policies were enacted based upon an "important governmental interest," which would be a standard so high that, thankfully, most economic regulations would not be able to meet.

As George F. Will explains, "under today's weak "rational basis" standard, courts validate virtually any abridgement of economic liberty, no matter how tenuous the connection to even a minor public purpose." In other words, under our present jurisprudence, the government can regulate anything, which has resulted in absurdities such as the CAFE fuel economy standards, a ban on the incandescent light bulbs, the low-flush toilets, confiscatory taxes, endangered species legislation aimed at stopping worthless insects, etc.

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