NK asks, I presume rhetorically, if every stupid law is unconstitutional. This brings me to a topic I’ve been meaning to blog about since the McDonald decision: was the reasoning of the Alito plurality really that bad, or even all that different from Justice Thomas’s position? In other words, is a law forbidding law-abiding residents to exercise one of their constitutionally protected liberties really any more consistent with this:
No State shall …. deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law[.]
Than it is with this:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States[.]
And if so, why? Because it would seem to me that any law that arbitrarily deprives citizens of their freedom, without so much as the pretense that they’ve committed any crime (let alone due process to determine whether or not they have) is every bit as problematic under the Due Process Clause as it is under the Privileges or Immunities Clause – unless you think there’s some reason why freedoms secured by the Constitution are properly described as “privileges or immunities” but not simply as “liberty.”
Tell me why I’m wrong.