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A Good Day for Humanity in America

The Constitution of the United States of America
The Constitution of the United States of America

There are a few items I always travel with: a copy of The Constitution of the United States of America along with a copy of The Declaration of Independence.

Last week may go down in American history as one of those milestone markers in the evolution of The United States as it strives for the higher good and a more perfect union.

The three decisions last week by the U.S. Supreme Court once again reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to be guided by the principles established in the Constitution. I celebrate these decisions by the Supreme Court that recognize and reaffirm the commitment of the U.S. Constitution to:                                                                                  “Liberty to all, Dignity,  Moving the Nation toward a more integrated society, The power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people, The role of the Supreme Court is to say what the law is, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to  destroy them”

Friday brought the eloquent eulogy by President Obama for Charleston pastor Reverend Clementa Pinckney.  The speech was equal parts catharsis and content.  Truth was spoken clearly.  We as citizens must now do our part and take action to right the wrongs of racism among us. Working for real equality and dignity for African Americans and people of all races and ethnicities makes life for me as a white man more freer and full of liberty.  As the President said, “We don’t need another conversation about racism.”

This modest post is one action I can take to speak up for fairness, justice and equality.   I walk and work with those who want to move forward toward the common good.

1. Obergefell v. Hodges  The right for two people of the same sex to marry.

JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.  

“The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. It follows that the Court also must hold—and it now does hold—that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.
* * *
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the
eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.”

2.  Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.  Reaffirmation of the Fair Housing Act. 

JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.

“Much progress remains to be made in our Nation’s continuing struggle against racial
isolation. In striving to achieve our “historic commitment to creating an integrated
society,”  Parents Involved, supra, at 797 (KENNEDY, J., concurring in part and   concurring in judgment), we must remain wary of policies that reduce homeowners to nothing more than their race. But since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 and against the backdrop of disparate-impact liability in nearly every jurisdiction,
many cities have become more diverse. The FHA must play an important part in avoiding the Kerner Commission’s grim prophecy that “[o]ur Nation is moving toward
two societies, one black, one white—separate and un-equal.” Kerner Commission Report 1. The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the
Nation toward a more integrated society. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is affirmed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. It is so ordered.” 

3.  King v. Burwell  Affordable Care Act upheld. 

Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court.

“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined—“to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803). That is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve  health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt. The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is Affirmed.”


2 thoughts on “A Good Day for Humanity in America

  1. Jeff Simmons says:

    Wayne, thanks for your great summary and commentary on the recent actions of the US Supreme Court and that of Obama. It gave me renewed hope about the powers that help lead us.


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