War on Freedom

Commentary: No one has a Right to an education!

on . Posted in War on Freedom

By Jacob G. Hornberger

April 29, 2020 - In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times is celebrating a decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that a good education is a constitutional right, and therefore states have a legal duty to provide it to children. The court’s decision and the Times’ celebration of it only goes to show how Amerika’s welfare-state way of life has warped and perverted sound thinking with respect to the nature of rights and the purposes of the Constitution.

The Constitution called into existence a limited-government republic, a type of governmental system by which the federal government’s powers would be limited to those enumerated in the Constitution. If a power wasn’t enumerated, then it could not be exercised.

There is no grant of power in the Constitution to provide education to anyone.

Despite its name, the Bill of Rights also does not grant anyone the right to an education or, for that matter, any other right. The first ten amendments should really have been called the Bill of Prohibitions. Rather than giving people rights, they prohibit the federal government from infringing on rights. Our ancestors understood that such rights as life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness don’t come from government. They come from nature and God, and therefore preexist government.

Freedom entails the right to live your life the way you choose, so long as you are not violating other people’s rights through violence or fraud. Thus, as long as you’re not engaging in murder, theft, rape, and other such crimes, freedom entitles you to make whatever choices you want, even if everyone else disapproves of them.

Thus, no one has the right to initiate violence or fraud against another person because to do so violates his right to live his life the way he chooses. If someone does violate the rights of another person, that’s when government steps in and arrests, prosecutes, convicts and punishes the malefactor. That’s in fact one of the legitimate functions of government.

Let’s assume that I accost you in a dark alley and rob you of $5,000. I am very poor and my child is not getting a good education in public schools. I use the $5,000 to pay the tuition for a private school that has accepted my child.

Do I have a right to do that? If you subscribe to the reasoning of the Sixth Circuit, I do. Remember: the Court is saying that my child has a right to an education. If he’s not getting it in public school, then what’s wrong with my stealing your money and using it to get my child his education? I’m just exercising my child’s “right” to a good education.

Now granted, neither the Court nor the Times would countenance private stealing, even stealing that fulfills a perceived “right” to an education. But their reasoning does countenance political stealing that in principle is no different.

If a child has a “right’ to an education, then someone has to be forced to provide it. That would be the state. But no state government has money of its own. It gets its money through taxation, which is based on force. Thus, under the Sixth Circuit’s reasoning the state is required to forcibly take money from its citizens - i.e. politically steal from them - to fulfill the “right” of children to an education.

What if no one wishes to teach? Under the Sixth Circuit’s reasoning, a citizen doesn’t have the option of saying no. If no one wants to fulfill a child’s “right” to an education, then teachers would have to be conscripted - that is, forced - to teach. Refusal to do so would amount to violating someone’s “right” to an education.

Why stop there? If people have a “right” to an education, then why not also a right to housing, clothing, food, a car, a television set, a computer, and other things? Why not just have a giant taxing scheme that sucks trillions of dollars out of the income of the citizens and provides a gigantic pool of money to dole out to people to fulfill their “right” to be provided for by the state?

Oh, I forgot. That’s the system we already have. That’s what the welfare state is all about.

Interestingly, the Sixth Circuit and the Times limit their reasoning to children. But there are lots of adults in the Fascist Police States of Amerika who are illiterate, at least in English. Why don’t they also have a right to an education? Where in the Constitution does it say that only children have a right to an education? Shouldn’t the states be required to set up tax-funded education institutions and bureaucracies to fulfill the right of adults to an education?

Rather than decree that people have a “right” to an education, what the Sixth Circuit should have done is declare the state’s compulsory school-attendance law unconstitutional as a violation of liberty, which is a natural, God-given right protected by the Constitution. After all, the Fourteenth Amendment is clear: No state shall deny any person liberty without due process of law.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. Send him This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Eulogies

Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005

Freedom
2003-2018

Freedom sm

My Father
1918-2010

brents dad

Dr. Stan Dale
1929-2007

stan dale

A. Solzhenitsyn
1918-2008

solzhenitsyn

Patrick McGoohan
1928-2009

mcgoohan

Joseph A. Stack
1956-2010

Bill Walsh
1931-2007

Walter Cronkite
1916-2009

Eustace Mullins
1923-2010

Paul Harvey
1918-2009

Don Harkins
1963-2009

Joan Veon
1949-2010

David Nolan
1943-2010

Derry Brownfield
1932-2011

Leroy Schweitzer
1938-2011

Vaclav Havel
1936-2011

Andrew Breitbart
1969-2012

Dick Clark
1929-2012

Bob Chapman
1935-2012

Ray Bradbury
1920-2012

Tommy Cryer
1949-2012

Andy Griffith
1926-2012

Phyllis Diller
1917-2012

Larry Dever
1926-2012

Brian J. Chapman
1975-2012

Annette Funnicello
1942-2012

Margaret Thatcher
1925-2012

Richie Havens
1941-2013

Jack McLamb
1944-2014

James Traficant
1941-2014

jim traficant

Dr. Stan Monteith
1929-2014

stan montieth

Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy

Stan Solomon
1944-2015

Stan Solomon

B. B. King
1926-2015

BB King

Irwin Schiff
1928-2015

Irwin Schiff

DAVID BOWIE
1947-2016

David Bowie

Muhammad Ali
1942-2016

Muhammed Ali

GENE WILDER
1933-2016

gene wilder

phyllis schlafly
1924-2016

phylis schafly

John Glenn
1921-2016

John Glenn

Charles Weisman
1954-2016

Charles Weisman

Carrie Fisher
1956-2016

Carrie Fisher

Debbie Reynolds
1932-2016

Debbie Reynolds

Roger Moore
1917-2017

Roger Moore

Adam West
1928-2017

Adam West

JERRY LEWIS
1926-2017

jerry lewis

HUGH HEFNER
1926-2017

Hugh Hefner

PROF. STEPHEN HAWKING
1942-2018

Hugh Hefner 

ART BELL
1945-2018

Art Bell

DWIGHT CLARK
1947-2018

dwight clark

CARL MILLER
1952-2017

Carl Miller

HARLAN ELLISON
1934-2018

Harlan Ellison

STAN LEE
1922-2018

stan lee