The Declaration of Independence declares all people to have certain inalienable rights:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
In connection with the prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere, extraordinary renditions, and drone attacks, the Bush and Obama administrations have taken the position that some people have no rights at all. The US government has denied the premise of the Declaration that some rights are inalienable and can't be taken away.
On one hand, how could one deny the core function of this principle in American society and law?
But, the Supreme Court and the legal system have never incorporated it into American law. In civics, political science, legal circles, and among psuedo left wing chattering classes, the issue has gone almost undiscussed in 250 years.
Finally wing nut Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn in the Kagan hearing, apparently oblivious to the implications of the left wing political box he opened, has at least raised the issue:
COBURN: So you wouldn't embrace what the Declaration of Independence says, that we have certain inalienable and God-given rights that aren't given in the Constitution, that are ours, ours alone, and that the government doesn't give those to us.
For video and transcript see:
Sen. Coburn Attacks Kagan For Agreeing With Justice Thomas On "Natural" Rights
The time has come to discuss this issue.