Friday, June 18, 2010

Action and omission in the U.S. Supreme Court

This interesting article shows how the Court accepted a distinction between action and omission as relevant. Harm caused by omission becomes a matter of "positive liberty", which is apparently not protected by the Constitution. In particular, even after a child welfare agency involved itself in a case, the agency cannot be sued for failing to protect the child from terrible harm. Of interest is that this is not the sort of omission that anyone can commit; the agency was already involved, hence, by everyday moral standards, "responsible".

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