Letter: Claims of constitutional rights are often wrong – The Durango Herald

Posted: February 2, 2021 at 7:02 pm

A lot of people falsely utilize the Constitution as a shield for selfish conduct.

However, free speech doesnt mean one can yell fire in a crowded theater; nor does free speech entitle one to commit libel or slander. Freedom of assembly does not override municipal permitting processes reasonably controlling marches or parades. Freedom of religion does not let one practice polygamy, cannibalism or forced marriages.

Fifth Amendment rights can be waived, and the Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial, can be blocked by an arbitration clause buried on the back of a receipt.

Before District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008, no United States Supreme Court case ever held that the Second Amendment provided a right to own a handgun for residential protection. However, in Heller, Justice Scalia noted, Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.

One may feel unnecessarily constrained by a mandatory seat belt law, but that does not make it unconstitutional. Selfishly questioning the constitutionality of masking requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic ignores a states power under the Tenth Amendment to protect health, safety and the general welfare.

So when we hear the Constitution invoked to support some real or imagined grievance, we should pause and consider who the speaker is and what their motivations are.

Fortunately and unfortunately, even ignorant whining is constitutional.

Craig OlivierDurango

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Letter: Claims of constitutional rights are often wrong - The Durango Herald

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