August 22, 2007

Academic dumb-assery of the day

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

Debating the 'Right to Romance'

Is the "right to romance" protected by the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? That is the contention of Paul Abramson, a psychology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and the author of the forthcoming book Romance in the Ivory Tower: The Rights and Liberty of Conscience.

Dinesh D'Souza was intrigued by Abramson's argument. "I picked up my copy of the U.S. Constitution and perused it. No such right," D'Souza posts on his blog. "I tried reading the document standing on my head. Still nothing. I squeezed lemon juice and held the paper up to the light. Gee, the right to romance didn't appear anywhere."

If Abramson is right that sexuality, like speech and religion, is constitutive of our identity, why did the founders not add a clause stating, "Congress shall make no law restricting the right to romance?" D'Souza claims that is because they "seem to have recognized that sexuality is fraught with the potential both for personal exploitation and social disorder."

"The whole concept is a legal absurdity," D'Souza writes. "Professor Abramson is certainly entitled to cruise the bars of Los Angeles looking for love if he wants to. I just think should leave his copy of the Constitution behind."

I've got to head over to Convocation right now, so more on this point later.

But what's important to remember is that the Ninth Amendment is part of the "living Constitution," whose meaning must expand to fit the times.

The part of the Constitution making Treason a capital crime? Not so much.

Posted by Steve-O at August 22, 2007 03:32 PM | TrackBack

Law Trivia: The Supreme Court has never made a ruling based on the Ninth Amendment.

Posted by: Hucbald at August 22, 2007 04:20 PM