Thursday, August 30, 2007


Maybe the Stork Brings Them

Instapundit and other bloggers have been giving the New York Times a hard time over the fact that their editors claimed in an article that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are constitutional rights. The phrase comes, of course, from the Declaration of Independence and not the U.S. Constitution. Everyone else seems to assume that the Times editors mislabeled the phrase as constitutional rights because they are either ignorant of what the U.S. Constitution actually says or because they are ignorant of what the phrase "constitutional right" means. I'm not so sure that they chose the incorrect label of "constitutional right" out of ignorance. I wonder if perhaps the New York Times editors did it so that they would not be forced to write the phrase "God given rights" (or the more technically correct "Creator endowed rights"). After all, if it is not written in the constitution then where else can a New York Times editor claim that our rights come from? Jefferson given rights? Declarational rights?

Maybe they think it is better for them to write a small deliberate mis-statement than to open the door to something they think is worse. I'm just grateful they didn't write something like "UN mandated rights" or "Fundamental rights, duties and guarantees of the working class."

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