Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dignity Is a Constitutional Principle - Bruce Ackerman -

Dignity' is the demand of the subordinate and shunned everywhere.  It is the demand of striking workers, of, Black people in the civil rights movement, of women seeking equality, and of gay people.  Yet there are those in high places who disparage it.  Antonin Scalia spoke of "legal argle bargle" when gay rights were recognized in Windsor v. U.S..  His acolyte Kevin C.Walsh, now a law professor, recently disparaged Justice Kennedy's landmark opinions on gay rights "recognizable for "the glory and the annoyingness of their moral confidence and spiritual certainty".  Bruce Ackerman explains the core importance of the under-recognized dignity principle.  - gwc

Dignity Is a Constitutional Principle - 

by Prof. Bruce Ackerman

To be sure, the judges of the civil rights era also emphasized the link between institutionalized humiliation and the constitutional requirements of equal protection. Most famously, Brown v. Board of Education declared school segregation unconstitutional precisely because it stigmatized blacks, generating “a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” Yet once we recognize that Congress and the president broadened and deepened the nation’s commitment to Brown’s anti-humiliation principle, we can gain a larger perspective on contemporary civil rights struggles.

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