When is a good not a good? When it's a right?

Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Fox News' Judge Andrew Napolitano took over for Glenn Beck on Friday and took to task those who would claim that access to health care is a right. Napolitano took the opportunity to lecture his viewers on the difference between a right and a "good."

In Napolitano's learned telling, goods are not rights, and rights are not goods. The big point being, "Health care is not a right."

So what are rights? Napolitano explained, "A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity." He continued:

We own our bodies. Hence we own the gifts that emanate from our bodies: so our right to life; our right to develop our personalities; our right to think as we wish, to say what we think, to publish what we say; our right to worship or not worship; our right to travel, to defend ourselves, to use our own property as we see fit; our right to due process, which is fairness from the government; and our right to be left alone are all rights that stem from our humanities.

Thus established, Napolitano moved on to distinguish these rights from goods, which are "something we want or need. In a sense, it is the opposite of a right." He elucidated:

We have our rights from birth, but we need our parents when we are children and we need ourselves as adults to purchase the goods we require for existence. So food is a good. Shelter is a good. Clothing is a good. Education is a good. A car is a good. Legal representation is a good. Working out at the gym is a good. And access to health care is a good.

So access to health care is a good, which is sort of the opposite of a right. Like legal representation. Which is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment -- you know, the Bill of Rights -- in certain criminal proceedings:

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Fox News Channel
Andrew Napolitano
Glenn Beck show
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