opinion Brian Dickerson Detroit Free Press Published 7:00 AM EDT Jun 30, 2019 The constitutional language that promises every U.S. citizen “the equal protection of the laws” has always been a little, well … aspirational. Since its ratification after the American Civil War, the 14th Amendment has described the egalitarian society we more precisely than the imperfect one we live in. Federal law may guarantee even the most impoverished defendant a lawyer, but no one imagines that the homeless teenager arrested for petty larceny gets the same legal representation as the hedge-fund manager charged with securities fraud. And while the aggrieved consumer and the multinational pharmaceutical maker enjoy the same right to free speech, the latter’s superior financial resources all but guarantee that its message — Ask your doctor if Venclexta is right for you! —will reach a far larger audience. More: Supreme Court justices tell Michigan’s Democratic voters to drop dead More: Trump says he asked lawyers if census could be delayed after Supreme Court decision on citizenship question The voting booth is the venue in which America has come closest to realizing the promise enshrined in the equal protection clause. Since 1964, especially, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered states to reconfigure their political maps… Read full this story
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