Is the right to engage in scientific inquiry a fundamental right?

2018-10-22 01:00:32

I am curious as to whether there is any precedent in the U.S. regarding the level of scrutiny applied to 14th amendment claims against statutes that hinder a person's ability to engage in scientific research. In particular, whether the courts have deemed the right to engage in science as "inherent in the concept of ordered liberty" or "deeply entrenched in our country's morals and traditions." It seems plausible to me that a case could be made for this, which would raise the level of scrutiny above rational basis.

There is some precedent for claiming a right to free scientific inquiry. For example, the primary holding of Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 is that "Speech that is obscene and thus lacking First Amendment protection must be without serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value" (note the omission of commercial speech). In Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, the court overturned a law banning teaching children foreign languages, finding th

  • There is some precedent for claiming a right to free scientific inquiry. For example, the primary holding of Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 is that "Speech that is obscene and thus lacking First Amendment protection must be without serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value" (note the omission of commercial speech). In Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, the court overturned a law banning teaching children foreign languages, finding that such a law "invades the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment", and observing

    While this Court has not attempted to define with exactness the

    liberty thus guaranteed, the term has received much consideration and

    some of the included things have been definitely stated. Without

    doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint, but also

    the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the

    common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry,

    establish a home and bring up ch

    2018-10-22 02:01:25
  • There is no body of constitutional law to that effect.

    In part, this is because the non-constitutional tradition of academic freedom is so great.

    Once research is done, publication of that research has strong academic freedom protections, but there is no real case law suggesting that the scientific inquiry itself is protected.

    For example, cases regarding whether stem cell research should be permitted are not argued in a manner that raises constitutional questions.

    2018-10-22 02:08:45