Supreme Court rulings favor free speech over privacy

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Two recent Supreme Court rulings show that privacy is more rhetoric than reality in our nation.

In the first decision, the justices ruled 7-2 that there’s no role for government in choosing what video games are available for your kids to buy.

Video games can have incredible levels of gore, violence and mature content. That means you as parent need to pay more attention to what your kids are playing. In my household, I make it clear to my kids what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to video games, movies and music.

Speaking of movies, there’s a website called Kids-in-Mind.com that lets you know whether or not popular movies are appropriate for your kids based on their age. The site offers more than just ratings though; it also details objectionable scenes.

I like that. Tools like Kids-in-Mind.com help us in our role as parents. To cede that role to government is not right in my book.

In a separate case, the Supremes handed down another decision that went to the core of another free speech vs. privacy issue, this time in the pharmaceutical industry.

Big pharmaceutical companies have long kept dossiers on which prescriptions doctors are writing. That info is then used to strong-arm docs into writing more of select prescriptions…or else those doctors will be cut off from the industry’s gimmes.

This practice has now been upheld in a 6-3 decision. The ruling reverses laws in a handful of New England states that criminalized harvesting prescription data for this purpose.

So again, the Supremes are clearly saying you have no right to an expectation of privacy. The right to free expression and collection of information is superior to the right of privacy.

The very concept of privacy was completely alien to the founders of our nation. In the early days of America, people lived far apart from each other and contact with others was highly prized. Today, of course, we live in a very different era. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that privacy truly is rhetoric, not reality, in our modern society.

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