The Right to be an Object

On the news this morning, in a story about some tobacco-related lawsuit, I heard a lawyer expound a novel right, or at least a right that I hadn't heard of before. He said that the blue-collar workers of America "have the right to be advertised to." That got my attention.

I can think of various other putative rights that have roughly the same form, but I admit none of them sound very convincing. "The right to be lied to", "the right to be stolen from", "the right to be taxed."

Rights are usually more subject-side, active-voice, kinds of things. "The right to assemble", "the right to speak", "the right to keep and bear arms." Even more passive rights tend to be expressed actively. "The right to listen" seems more correct than "the right to be spoken to".

Are there more convincing rights that might be expressed in the same form as "the right to be advertised to"? Perhaps "the right to be left alone." Although that has a rather different content...


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