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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 25 of Randy Barnett’s and Evan Bernick’s 2021 book, The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Spirit: The polity has no preexisting obligation to provide a particular good such as common schools – or roads, sidewalks, or parks – in the first instance. Only once a polity has chosen to create such a good does a fundamental right of access to it preclude a policy from arbitrarily denying access to any of its members. In contrast, the duty of the polity to refrain from violating the civil rights protecting one’s pre-political natural rights is never optional. Such access must be afforded equally to every citizen, indeed to every person within its jurisdiction. As a result, while a state is free to deny to the citizenry as a whole a post-political

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… is from page 25 of Randy Barnett’s and Evan Bernick’s 2021 book, The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Spirit:

Quotation of the Day…The polity has no preexisting obligation to provide a particular good such as common schools – or roads, sidewalks, or parks – in the first instance. Only once a polity has chosen to create such a good does a fundamental right of access to it preclude a policy from arbitrarily denying access to any of its members. In contrast, the duty of the polity to refrain from violating the civil rights protecting one’s pre-political natural rights is never optional. Such access must be afforded equally to every citizen, indeed to every person within its jurisdiction.

As a result, while a state is free to deny to the citizenry as a whole a post-political right not designed to protect natural rights, it may never arbitrarily deprive any citizen, or the citizenry as a whole, of the civil rights that serve to protect the natural rights of its members.

Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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