The 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, Reinvigorated: A Joyful Noise, Arises!

As I predicted, there is, in the U.S., henceforth — an inalienable right for children of same sex couples — to enjoy the full measure of inheritance that a lawful marriage confers. If nothing else, a just society should not penalize children for how their parents came to love one another.

And thus — this is on topic, for a health care blog. We celebrate!

. . . .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. . . .

The fundamental liberties protected by this Clause include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. See Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145, 147–149 (1968). In addition these liberties extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs. . . .

The idea of the Constitution “was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.” West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624, 638 (1943). This is why “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections. . . .”

Onward — from sunny California! [Please forgive formatting glitches — all posted by iPhone.]

UPDATED — 06.27.2015 No matter what the dissenters wrote, the Constitution was intended to be a living document, that liberated and yet protected the people in ways the founders had not yet imagined. So do not buy the suggestion that if the founders didn’t think of it, as a right — it does not exist. [Consider that many founders “owned” other humans, and yet here we are.] So this right to marry is just the embodiment of a general principle, made clear by passing history. And our Union is more closely perfected, thereby:


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