Friday, August 05, 2005

A Constitutional Right to Incest?

Matthew J. Frank has an interesting piece in National Review Online dealing with the Muth vs. Frank case that was just adjudicated by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The case revolves around Wisconson's anti-incest law. Allen and Patricia Muth, brother and sister, managed to get married and have three kids. The authorities found out, took the kids away, and sent parents to jail. Allen Muth then brough suit arguing that incest between consenting adults must be a protected constitutional right since the wording of the 2003 Supreme Court decision in the Lawrence vs. Texas case basically implies that any consenting sex between adults is private and cannot be regulated without violating a person's right to liberty.

As Mr. Frank writes in the article, this case may soon end up at the Supreme Court since the reasoning that the Seventh Circuit Court used to uphold Winconson's anti-incest law is legally worthless and indeed since Lawrence vs. Texas is now precedent, the Muth vs. Frank case is very strong. It will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court decides to take the case and also, if they do, what they'll decide.

But there is a pretty good chance if they take the case that they may come down in favor of ruling that consenting incest between adults is legal. To do otherwise would be to back track on the rights given to homosexuals in the Lawrence vs. Texas case, which struck down the state of Texas' anti-sodomy law.