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Jurisprudence

Loyola University Chicago, School of Law

Legal Philosophy

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The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis Jan 2016

The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis

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This Article argues that the Reconstruction Amendments incorporated the human dignity values of the Declaration of Independence. The original Constitution contained clauses, which protected the institution of slavery, that were irreconcilable with the normative commitments the nation had undertaken at independence. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments set the country aright by formally incorporating the Declaration of Independence's principles for representative governance into the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence provides valuable insights into matters of human dignity, privacy, and self-government. Its statements about human rights, equality, and popular sovereignty establish a foundational rule of interpretation. While the Supreme Court ...