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Friday, March 25, 2005

I disagree with Kevin Drum *again*
This is getting alarming. I might not be able to post every time I disagree with him.

Drum writes

"I haven't thought this through completely, but mostly as a discussion topic I'd like to toss out the hypothesis that there's a pretty good reason for Dems to stay on the sidelines: because there are no major core principles of liberalism at stake here. Here are the various arguments that have been floating around Terri Schiavo:

Congress shouldn't pass laws directed at a single person. No, Congress probably shouldn't. On the other hand, let's be frank: I can think of circumstances where I'd be all in favor of this, and I'll bet you can too. Don't get me wrong: this was both a bad law and a politically craven one as well, but I'm not sure single-person legislation per se really contravenes any deeply held liberal principles.

I think a law ad personum violates a core principle of liberalism -- that the law should be equal for everyone. The recent bill gives "parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo" rights which other American citizens don't have. This violates the principle of equality before the law and the principle that the law should be anonymous. These principles are central to liberalism strictly speaking, that is to the beliefs shared by modern liberals and classical liberals.

I might agree that the bill does not violate a core principle of leftism and hypothesize that Drum thinks "leftism" when he says "liberalism" and knows that the word "leftism " is poison in the USA.

I am not a lawyer. I definitely have the impression that the bill clearly violates the 14th amendment because it explicitly denies equal protection to people who are not parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo. I section 5 "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create substantive rights not otherwise secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the several States." was included to make it possible to argue against this. I am amazed at such a crude attempt to prove by assertion that a law which clearly and explicitely grants new rights does not grant new rights.

I think the key issue for Drum is that the bill gives extra rights to two people. A bill which deprived two named people of normal rights would be unnacceptable. Drum's liberal principle seems to be "everyone is equal before the law, but some people are equaller than others.

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