On the Constitution (from July 9, 2018)

The Constitution protects our freedom to make the most personal and intimate choices that we can make--decisions about marriage, family, contraception, childrearing, relationships, procreation, etc.--without undue interference from the state. The Supreme Court has repeatedly found over the previous decades that there exists a realm into which the government may not enter, even if democratic majorities would have it do so. In landmark cases concerning contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut; Eisenstadt v. Baird), abortion (Roe v. Wade; Planned Parenthood v. Casey), same-sex sexual activity (Lawrence v. Texas), interracial and same-sex marriage (Loving v. Virginia; Obergefell v. Hodges), Supreme Court jurisprudence has repeatedly affirmed that there exist certain fundamental rights of which individuals may not be deprived.

While these and other rights are not explicitly written out in the Constitution, they emanate from the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments. Our Constitution IS a living document, a charter that breathes anew each time an American invokes its principles in the pursuit of liberty and equal justice. As Justice Kennedy wrote in his 2015 opinion legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide (Obergefell v. Hodges), "The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed."

It is greatly distressing to think that very soon there may exist a majority on the Supreme Court that disagrees with substantive due process/fundamental rights jurisprudence. Our Constitution is a storied document with immense power, a power to protect liberties and to confer equal justice under law. But this power can be suffocated and cut off by those who would have us see it as a dead piece of parchment from 1789.

So please. Raise your voices and speak out. Never sit out an election again. Become active participants in your democracy. And fight to keep the Constitution alive--because only a living Constitution can protect your most cherished rights and freedoms.