Have you been pondering Amendments 4, 5, 9, and 14?

Updated: Jul 11

What liberties are they talking about in these amendments and who are these "persons"?

Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
Amendment 5: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment 14: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Link to the text of all the amendments.


Our education chair wants to hear from YOU. She posits that the legislators and the courts should NOT be allowed to take away someone's liberty unless the liberty of one person is truly hurting someone else. If you agree, how should that "due process" decision weighing one person's liberty against another person's liberty be decided? Keep in mind that a fetus is not a person.


Sometimes the anti-abortion people talk about potential people. In their view, is a sperm a potential person? If so and they want to say that potential people have the same rights as existing people, then they might be able to outlaw masturbation and contraception.


If you interpret the term "potential people" as meaning future generations, then you might want to give future generations some weight when you're trying to decide whose liberties you can take away. Our chair posits that is still a mistake. Persons in these amendments mean people that exist when the decision is made as to whose liberties can be taken away in order to protect the liberty of other "persons."





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