Taxing a Right

This would seem to be the latest scheme of Illinois Democrats, in Cook County. If you can’t ban it, tax it. Unfortunately for them, taxing a right for the purpose of discouraging its exercise is unconstitutional. Even taxing a right for the purpose of raising revenue is probably unconstitutional, which could end up being a problem for Pittman-Robertson funding. There are other contexts where taxation of a right is completely impermissible, such as in free speech, per the case Arkansas Writers Project, Inc v. Ragland, or in the case of marriage, the Illinois Supreme Court already rejected a 10 dollar fee on licenses to fund services for victims domestic violence (ironically also implemented by Cook, “We’ll Blame the Law Abiding,” County). (Source: Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Volokh, Page 1542).

So Cook County is skating on very thin ice here. Thirdpower notes:

It’s funny that while the Democrats are screaming about voter ID laws ‘disproportionately effect poor and minorities”, their leadership are pushing laws that disproportionately effect poor and minorities.

That’s because they don’t really care about rights as a concept, and nor do they care about the poor or minorities. They are rhetorical bats with which to beat one’s opponents over the head with. The reality is pure power politics, where we revere and uphold rights which we find pleasing, and abridge and trash rights that we find unpleasant. The GOP and many on the right are just as guilty too, especially in and near Chicago, where power seems to be wielded for power’s sake a lot more than in other places in this country.

6 thoughts on “Taxing a Right”

  1. Agreed. And wouldn’t the old poll tax be another example of a tax being struck down because it taxed a “right to vote)”? And the Democrats, I believe, were solidly against taxing that right. Their hypocrisy is deafening!

  2. I have always thought it strange that the Democrats are so busy inventing new rights for the Government to grant us while violating the ones granted by God.

      1. There is an easy explanation; the rights granted by government are over time, converted to privileges then licensed, permit-ed or taxed to seize total control or power over the right. Leaving the servant society beholden to gov for permission to act.

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