Sunday, August 01, 2010
Earlier this weekend, while having lunch in the Burgee Pub at the Coveside Marina in Christmas Cove, Maine, I observed the following sign above the Maker's Mark whiskey:
The blatant disregard for the 13th Amendment is hard to understand, considering that most towns in Maine have monuments commemorating those residents who fought for the Union in the Civil War. I suppose I can appreciate that the proceeds from such sales might add to the operating margins for a marina/bar/restaurant, and smooth out some of the seasonal cash flow swings. Who knows, it might even do the kids some good. I imagine, though, that there are some locations where that sign might not generate the intended chuckles, because genuine servitude is not really a laughing matter.
UPDATE: Oops. Typo corrected, changing 14 to 13, thanks to commenter Joshua's lawyerly eye and constitutional scholarship.
Um, don't you mean the 13th Amendment? (The actual one, that is, not the "Title of Nobility Amendment" and the latest apparent attempts to resurrect it.)
The 13th amendment could come up in the context of Healthcare's Individual Mandate.
The 13th amendment prohibits involuntary servitude, of course. Courts have held that the 13th prohibits judges from ordering specific performance of a personal services contract. Thus, the court can't order someone to do work for someone, even if they previously agreed to. The other party can either get money damages or a negative injunction (you can't go work for someone else).
Extending the 13th to prohibit the Individual Mandate isn't crazy. The Third Amendment's prohibition on quartering of troops, for example, is one of the sources for our right to privacy, which in turn underpins Roe v Wade.
Either you believe in Constitutional penumbras, or you don't.