While not explicitly defined in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that certain implicit rights, such as association, privacy, and presumed innocence, share constitutional protection in common with explicit guarantees such as free speech. Specifically, the Supreme Court has described the right to associate as inseparable from the right to free speech. The right of association under the Constitution was heavily litigated in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and members’ rights were consistently upheld by the Court. In fact, the right of association became a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. In general, members of a private membership association do not fall under the jurisdiction of local, state, and federal governments and corresponding laws and regulations. The exception to this general rule is when the activities of the private membership associates present a clear and present danger of substantive evil.
A several of fellow health practitioners are being harassed, investigated, and sanctioned by licensing agencies, law enforcement agencies and attorney generals in many states. They, of course, believe a great service is being performed in the name of “protection of the public.” The solution to the problem is to change the public patient or client into a private contract member of a Private Healthcare Membership Association. Under the First and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and equivalent provisions of your State Constitution, you have the right to associate with fellow members and offer benefits and services that are outside of the jurisdiction, venue, and authority of State and/or Federal agencies.
What could come under scrutiny and in some cases be considered a criminal act outside the association can be perfectly legal within the protection of a private association. This right of association is not absolute; the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in many cases that the State cannot interfere with private association activities unless the private members are being subjected to a substantial evil that would shock a person’s moral and common sense.
The right to associate is not limited to social or political activities. This right can be utilized for business activities (e.g., sale of alcohol). Members of a private membership association have the right to private contract under the due process liberty clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments, and states may not pass laws that impair the obligation of a contract. In conclusion, under the 1st, 5th, and 14th amendments we are granted due process. Yet we must also look at the 10th Amendment, which guarantees that all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
We must look also at the 9th Amendment which guarantees certain inalienable rights to every man, woman, and child. Those inalienable rights include not only the freedom of life, liberty, property, speech, assembly, and due process, but any right or freedom which is not specifically given by the Constitution to the government. If the Constitution does not assign a specific right or freedom to the government, then we all have that right or freedom. Those freedoms include the right of self-determination, home schooling, choice of suppliers of products and/or services, choice of lifestyle, food, drink and any right or freedom that does not infringe on the rights and freedoms of others or is a threat. In a private membership association, the members have all the rights and privileges not specifically banned by the association unless they present a clear and present danger of substantive evil.