This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.
“The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.”
As an initial matter, note a mistake in the just preceding sentence. We referred there to the “people” who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment: What rights did those “people” have in their heads at the time? But, of course, “people” did not ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. Men did. So it is perhaps not so surprising that the ratifiers were not perfectly attuned to the importance of reproductive rights for women’s liberty, or for their capacity to participate as equal members of our Nation. Indeed, the ratifiers — both in 1868 and when the original Constitution was approved in 1788 — did not understand women as full members of the community embraced by the phrase “We the People.” In 1868, the first wave of American feminists were explicitly told — of course by men — that it was not their time to seek constitutional protections. (Women would not get even the vote for another half-century.) To be sure, most women in 1868 also had a foreshortened view of their rights: If most men could not then imagine giving women control over their bodies, most women could not imagine having that kind of autonomy. But that takes away nothing from the core point. Those responsible for the original Constitution, including the Fourteenth Amendment, did not perceive women as equals, and did not recognize women’s rights. When the majority says that we must read our foundational charter as viewed at the time of ratification (except that we may also check it against the Dark Ages), it consigns women to second-class citizenship.
The High Five
When Dusty Baker hit his 30th home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977, the first man to greet him at home plate was his friend and teammate, rookie Glenn Burke. Overcome with happiness, Burke did the first thing that came to mind — he put his hand straight in the air and had Baker slap it. Welcome to the birth of the high five. From there, our short follows Burke’s story as he became a victim of bigotry and then a local hero for social change.
Freeze Your Credit Scores
Quick and easy to do and to undo.
- Perceptions of Probability
- This 715-song playlist is scientifically verified to give you the chills, thanks to “frisson”
- The Wire’s Best Lines
- Which cheap and mass-produced item is stupendously well engineered?
- How a Book Gets Banned
- We tracked what happens after TikTok songs go viral
- So you want to invent a nuclear weapon
Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.
Thanks for reading. Have a great month,