When I was growing up in central Virginia, corner stores typically sold hats emblazoned with the Stars and Bars declaring “Lee Surrendered but I Didn’t.” I never imagined that five men in black robes might hand Confederates a victory through the Supreme Court that they could not win at the original Constitutional Convention nor later on the battlefields of the Civil War.
Yet we may be at that juncture today. As our country anxiously awaits the Supreme Court’s verdict on health-care reform, the media has reduced the case to the narrow terms of a political horserace. This characterization ignores the enormous significance of this case — a shift from the modern fight between liberal and conservative Constitutionalists back to an older and more nationally divisive debate between Constitutionalists and Confederates.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Atlantic.
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