Tuesday, May 10, 2005

ACLU Attempting to Screw States Again

This is quite the interesting story. North Carolina doesn't want unmarried couples to live together. As someone who is planning to soon cohabitate with romantic intent, I can't say that I agree too readily with the law, but is it unconstitutional, as the ACLU says everything is with which it doesn't agree?
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - There are some 144,000 unmarried couples living together in North Carolina, and they are all breaking the law - a statute that has been on the books since 1805.

The law against cohabitation is rarely enforced. But now the American Civil Liberties Union is suing to overturn it altogether, on behalf of a former sheriff's dispatcher who says she had to quit her job because she wouldn't marry her live-in boyfriend.
I am not aware of any provision in the Constitution that says the states must grant the right to live with whomever you please. In fact, in the Tenth Article of Amendment, the Constitution explicitly states that:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
So, let's assemble the pieces here. The Constitution says nothing about granting or limiting living arrangements. It does say that anything not covered by the Constitution is left to the states. The state of North Carolina (and also Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi and North Dakota) has decided to prohibit such behavior. This isn't just a horribly outdated notion, as the story confirms:
In January, the North Dakota House defeated a challenge to its cohabitation law on a 52-37 vote.
At least one state has actively decided to keep this law on the books. That must mean something right?

Let's get something straight though. I have no doubt that this law will be overturned by the courts. The ACLU has a history of somehow strong-arming courts into such actions; I am personally of the opinion that the ACLU needs to be broken apart. But in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas (and Griswold v. Connecticut for that matter) I am left with little doubt that these laws will soon disappear.

The States just died a little more.


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