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Unformatted text preview: . I do suggest, however, that one may establish a constitutional justification for such rights by reasoning within the framework that these points provide. THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS THE PRIVACY OF OUR PERSONAL CONDUCT William C. Heffernan , Associate Professor of Law, John Jay School of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York, PRIVACY RIGHTS , Suffolk University Law Review, Fall, 1995, 754 -755 Is the Constitution exclusively concerned with civic life? The answer is clearly "no." A quite different cluster of rights, liberal rights, is also discernible in the text. Liberal rights differ from civic rights in that they protect conduct not directly bearing on communal governance. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects the mechanisms of privacy and establishes a context for personal life pursued independently of civic life. With respect to autonomous personal conduct, the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause warrants notice because it protects not only the expression of opinion regarding public affairs, but also the expression of opinion about an entire range of issues that individuals encounter in their personal lives. One finds an even clearer sign of concern with personal life in the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause. As John Locke properly emphasized, religious activity involves disengagement from others. In seeking salvation, individuals turn inward -- they retreat psychologically and physically from communal life to establish a personal life consistent with the dictates of their consciences. Thus one might argue that the Free Exercise Clause provides strong protection for activities in which people function not as citizens, but as autonomous individuals. Many laws, legal procedures, and court decisions uphold the right to privacy Anita L. Allen, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, "Reuschlein Lecture: Lying to Protect Privacy." Villanova Law Review, 1999. Many legal doctrines recognize that re...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13