Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) rambled on about rights that were granted to him by God. His remarks veered off course a bit.
Cohen began his approximately three-minute statement by saying, “I’d liked to have asked him some questions about God-given rights, and he was saying all our rights are God-given. I just wondered when God decided to give women the right to vote and why God didn’t decide to give women the right to vote back in the, uh, 1700s. The Constitution was drawn up in the 1780s. I can’t believe God would say “no, women shouldn’t have the right to vote. God doesn’t give you your rights.”
The House Judiciary cmte is having a normal one.
Here’s @RepCohen trying to dunk on Justices Thomas and Alito before attempting to lecture us on the Constitution and ultimately declaring that it is the government who gives us our rights.
— Meara (@MillennialOther) February 28, 2023
Steve Cohen is a Democrat who serves as the representative for Tennessee’s 9th congressional district in the US House of Representatives. He has been a member of the House since 2007, and is renowned for his progressive stances on matters including social justice, civil rights, and gun control.
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Judiciary Committee both include Cohen as a member.
Natural rights, also referred to as God-given rights, are not conferred by documents created by men. Not only does that confusion make no sense, but it also completely contradicts what the phrase “God-given rights” implies historically.
The entire purpose of mentioning God-given rights is to emphasize that unalienable rights exist independently of all political restrictions. Rights are not rights if they are granted by politicians. Those are only concessions made by dictators.
Cohen doesn’t seem to understand it; instead, he thinks that a right doesn’t exist until someone receives it from the US government. Such a perspective is not only constitutionally ignorant, but also risky because it presupposes that an all-powerful, malleable human authority has unrestricted power.