Justice Samuel Alito, in his dissent yesterday, indicated a new right for Americans.
There are a lot of things we think we have rights concerning. For instance, we have the right to wear blue on Tuesdays, to eat rice with a spoon, and to own a Labradoddle. I guess we can claim these rights under some interpretation of the Bill of Rights. Of course even if we can’t, our stating that we have such rights confers nothing on anyone. But when a Supreme Court justice wants to state that a right exists, and does so in a legal opinion, we should take notice:
“Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such an incalculable loss: to bury his son in peace,” he added. “But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprived him of that elementary right.”
I’m not sure where such a right is stated or what document of American society confers this right on parents, but it would seem that eight other justices feel that the Constitutional right to free speech outweighs any perceived right that Justice Alito confers on Mr. Snyder. In that case, there really is no such “right of any parent” and Justice Alito has misspoken.
His response is an emotional one, not a just, logical, or legal one. We cannot wish or speak rights into or out of existence. There is a process in this country and it works, like it or not. Let’s use it and stick to it.