Senator Leahy: Is there a constitutional right to privacy?
(Then)Judge Ginsburg: There is a constitutional right to privacy which consists I think of at least two distinguishable parts. One is the privacy expressed most vividly in the Fourth Amendment, that is, the government shall not break in to my home or office without a warrant based on probable cause; the government shall leave me alone.
The other is the notion of personal autonomy; the government shall not make my decisions for me; I shall make, as an individual, uninhibited, uncontrolled by my government, the decisions that affect my life's course. Yes, I think whether it has been lumped under the label, privacy is a constitutional right, and it has those two elements, the right to be let alone and the right to make basic decisions about one's life course.
-Justice Ginsburg's Confirmation hearings
I am with her on the first right. On the second right, I am conflicted. In the sense that "privacy" is used in an abortion law context to mean, essentially, the right to make your own decisions about your own private affairs, I'm with her. But were we to take "privacy" by what I see as its usual meaning, the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively, I think we can get there through the common law given that Griswold v. Connecticut* more or less set the stage for it, but I'm not sure the right is constitutional exactly.
* Holding that bans on birth control to married people were illegal because of a constitutional right to privacy.