I mentioned earlier the judge's role in seeking out the community's interpretation of the Constitutional text. Yet, again in my judgment, when a Justice perceives an interpretation of the text to have departed so far from its essential meaning, that Justice is bound, by a larger constitutional duty to the community, to expose the departure and point toward a different path.

Until the end of the nineteenth century, freedom and dignity in our country found meaningful protection in the institution of real property. Not surprisingly, property relationships formed the heart of litigation and of legal practice, and lawyers and judges tended to think stable property relationships the highest aim of the law.
Recognition of broad and deep rights of expression and of conscience reaffirm the vision of human dignity in many ways. They too redeem the promise of self-governance by facilitating-indeed demanding-robust, uninhibited and wide-open debate on issues of public importance.
The constitutional vision of human dignity rejects the possibility of political orthodoxy imposed from above; it respects the right of each individual to form and to express political judgments, however far they may deviate from the mainstream and however unsettling they might be to the powerful or the elite.
dignity. We are still striving toward that goal, and doubtless it will be an eternal quest.
See also

2023-09-20: Brennan Contemporary Ratification 1985
Table of Contents