Conservatives Are Not Defenders of Liberty
By Robert Garmong (June 30, 2003)
If you want to know whether conservatives deserve to be considered defenders of liberty, consider Justice Scalia's opinion dissenting from the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Texas's ridiculous and unconstitutional anti-sodomy law.
Justice Scalia warned that "this [decision] effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation": including laws against adultery, "fornication," and masturbation. So it would, and good riddance. Conduct that violates no one's rights is a matter for each individual's choice, not for the state's coercive power. What else can the individual's rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" mean?
The same Justice Scalia, with other conservatives, earlier this week assailed the affirmative-action decision as condoning illegitimate social engineering. Their view was correct, but their motives were hypocritical. Once a man has attempted to seize the power of the state to impose his view of the good life, he can expect nothing except for others to return the favor.