Constitution Day and the U.S. Supreme Court

Yesterday, I was in Maryland to participate in a Constitution Day event at the University of Maryland Law School. The early autumn weather in Baltimore was perfect, as was the program of the U.S. Supreme Court in Transition event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Maryland.

The event focused on recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action, marriage equality and voting rights. I was privileged to participate in this lively presentation and discussion with two distinguished law school professors in front of a packed auditorium. While Dean Phoebe Haddon and Professor Jana Singer focused on the implications of recent decisions for the law and the Constitution, I spoke about the impact of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder from a citizen's viewpoint. All three of us emphasized the future and the importance of vigilance by ordinary people in continuing our journey, as a nation, toward greater equality and fairness.

With all the focus these days on individual readings of the Constitution, it is especially important that the Maryland League celebrated Constitution Day by reminding us that the Constitution is the fundamental document establishing our federal form of government and that lawyers and judges over the years have argued and interpreted that document in many ways.

In the end, somehow, Americans always find a way toward greater inclusion and equality. Court rulings, good or bad, can help us find our way, but it is up to all of us to move our nation forward.

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