In the Supreme Court’s landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Kenney wrote the majority opinion ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. He wrote, “They [same-sex couples] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” With those words, we now have a new right protected by the Constitution — a right to dignity. Of course, the word “dignity” doesn’t actually appear in the Constitution. It must be emanating from the “we can do whatever the hell we want to” penumbra.
Dignity sounds like a good thing. What could possibly go wrong?
Figuring out what “dignity” actually means in legal terms will require some scholarly thought. It does potentially cover a lot of territory. I find it undignified to clean up after my dog when we’re out for a walk. Does that render the local ordinances requiring me to pick up his poop unconstitutional? I’m going to need a Supreme Court ruling on that. This may also mean that San Francisco’s human excrement cleaners will be out of a job. But I’m sure they’ll find something much more dignified to do.
This new “right” may also affect the travel industry. If I have a right to be treated with dignity, about 70% of the flight attendants I’ve encountered have violated my constitutional rights. Maybe I should start a class-action lawsuit. How many people do you suppose would like to join that class? I think a refund of our airfare for each time our rights have been violated seems fair. Alternatively, a public apology from the offending flight attendants would be almost as good — but that would probably be undignified for them.
Brett Kavanaugh’s rights were clearly violated during his confirmation hearings. Being treated like a common criminal on the basis of innuendo was certainly not being treated with dignity. I’m sure Vice President Cackles feels really bad about that now. She probably didn’t know he had a right to dignity. Perhaps in his new position, “Party On” Kavanaugh can help flesh out the legal boundaries of this new right. As a victim of systemic disrespect, he has a unique perspective on the issue. As a victim, his opinion is unquestionable — so it’s fitting that he’s a Supreme Court justice.
As usual, California is at the forefront of societal evolution. They are way ahead of the rest of us rubes on this whole dignity thing. They’re already discussing codifying it into state laws and regulations. The California legislature is currently working on a law to provide menstrual products to boys at public schools. As AB-367 states, “access to menstrual products is a basic human right and is vital to ensuring the health, dignity, and full participation of all Californians in public life.” Someone with foresight finally noticed that it’s undignified for boys to not have equal access to tampon-dispensers. They’ll probably have to follow up this law with some additional legislation to make sure high school and college boys don’t do anything undignified with those free tampons they’ll have in abundance.
The court will undoubtedly be providing further refinement of this “right” in future rulings. The definition of dignity is “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.” That may mean that “honor” and “respect” are additional rights emanating from the penumbra of dignity. If so, that puts me in a bind. I’ve been disrespecting President Asterisk (oops, did it again) for the past eight months. I hope the DOJ doesn’t find out. I sunburn too easily to spend the rest of my life at Guantanamo.
By John Green
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network (americanfreenewsnetwork.org). He can be followed on Facebook or reached at email@example.com.
This article was first published by American Thinker.