Supreme Confusion on Palin and the "Right to Privacy"

In Timesland, "privacy" = abortion: "Ms. Palin did not say how she could believe in a right to privacy and oppose Roe v. Wade."

In Thursday's "Beyond Roe, Palin Has No Regrets on Court Rulings," reporter Katharine Seelye tried to paint Sarah Palin as confused about the "right to privacy" while summarizing the segment of Palin's interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric that aired Wednesday night. But the confusion seems to reside with both Couric and Seelye.

...Palin said she believed there was an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution. That view is sharply at odds with some conservatives, who believe that the court was wrong to cite a right to privacy as the basis of its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion.

Ms. Palin did not say how she could believe in a right to privacy and oppose Roe v. Wade. After Ms. Couric called the right to privacy "the cornerstone" of the decision, Ms. Palin again said she believed in a right to privacy: "I do. And I believe that individual states can best handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that."

Actually, many conservatives have found a right to privacy in the constitution without thinking it covers the aborting of fetuses.

Yuval Levin at National Review Online cleanlyrebutted the idea that privacy = abortion, citing both conservative, anti-Roe Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and conservative, anti-Roe Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, arguing their belief in a right to privacy within the Constitution as written. Levin concluded that "The general view that the Constitution protects a right to privacy does not require... support for Roe v. Wade or an abortion right." The First and Fourth Amendments, for instance, clearly draw boundaries between individuals and government.