It’s obvious which of those things is not like the other, but apparently not to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. During a hearing on facial recognition technology, she tried to connect this form of surveillance with the privacy concern cited by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.
Ocasio-Cortez opined that the privacy concern “doesn’t just give us [sic] a right to my uterus, it gives me a right to my hand and my shoulders, my heads [sic], my knees, my toes, and my face.” “In our right to privacy, this is about our right to our entire body,” she added.
The potential intrusiveness of facial recognition technology is a legitimate area of concern. At the hearing in question, Rep. Mark Meadows also expressed it. Mark Meadows and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — that covers the entire ideological spectrum of the House.
The legality of using facial recognition technology without a warrant is, to my knowledge, an unsettled area of the law. Ocasio-Cortez, or whoever came up with the lines she was spouting, may have thought she was offering a useful legal framework with which to argue against the constitutionality of this practice.
But Roe v. Wade is in enough trouble without being hauled into the fight over law enforcement methods. The Supreme Court may revisit Roe. And though I doubt it will overturn the case, this Court isn’t going to use it as the basis for addressing novel legal issues like those relating to facial recognition.
At least five Justices understand what an embarrassing piece of jurisprudence Roe is. I’m sure they have no desire to extend the embarrassment.
If anything, Ocasio-Cortez may have been trying to prop up Roe by analogizing banning abortions to the abusive use of facial recognition technology in law enforcement (as absurd as the analogy is). But I think she was really doing that in which she specializes — drawing attention to herself by being mindlessly edgy.