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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

That crazy New York City government

So New York City is proposing to ban people under 21 to possess or buy cigarettes. Remember when the cry was that if young people were able to be drafted into the army they should be able to vote for the politicians who sent them there? We don't have the draft now, but 18-year olds can volunteer for the army, vote, consent to surgery, marry, but they're not mature enough to buy a cigarette? As Wesley J. Smith points out, this is what those underage can do: "While underage, obtain an abortion without parental consent, buy the morning-after pill, consent to sex at age 17 (in N.Y., lower elsewhere), and bring a legal action to be declared emancipated." The Nanny State has a weird idea of young people's responsibilities in life. Basically, I guess the reasoning is that if the government doesn't like the choices that young people make, the Nanny bureaucrats figure they have the power and duty to tell young people they can't make the choice.

Of course, this is a city whose mayor has decided that our interpretation of the Constitution will "have to change" to protect us from future attacks. He's talking about the Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment, but his statement betrays the liberal approach to a constitution. For them, it is something malleable that can be changed simply by people's desire to interpret it differently in different eras. This view means that there is no fixed foundation for our country; instead we change by popular will.

That is a very dangerous road to travel down. What if the popular will determines a change that Mayor Bloomberg doesn't approve? Would he be so willing to acquiesce to a new interpretation of the Constitution? If the Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action and part of the Voting Rights Act this session, will Bloomberg be happy to say that these are just new interpretations of the Constitution and that's just fine with him.

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