Tuesday, April 22, 2003

"Santorum is on the losing side of a long battle."

So says blogger Jack Balkin about Sen. Rick Santorum's inane comments about anti-sodomy laws in Texas and the Supreme Court's pending decision. Here's what Santorum said in an interview with The Associated Press:

If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. ... All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution.

Santorum's not exactly the brightest bulb in the pack, of course, being incapable of making a distinction between sodomy, incest, adultery and polygamy (which the Mormons used to think was OK ... right, Mr. Reid?). I recommend Balkin's entire post. But IMHO Santorum's remarks underscore the need to get the government out of the business of regulating sexual relations between consenting adults. Period. Once reasonable age-of-consent thresholds have been met, contract law should be sufficient to deal with the rest. (Balkin post via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh says coherent constitutional principles can be divined from Santorum's remarks. I fear the estimable Prof. Volokh may be giving Santorum too much credit.

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