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Key Fact

Peter Berkowitz Emphasizes the Value of America’s Style of Government

“It has been observed, and rightly observed that, at its inception, the United States gave legal sanction the heinous institution of slavery. That’s true. It’s also true—as Lincoln, and former slave Frederick Douglass, and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., and Elizabeth Cady Stanton all in different contexts pointed out—at the same time, the United States was founded in the affirmation of a principle that unequivocally condemned slavery as an evil institution. And it was in light of that principle and in light of the form of government that we eradicated that evil institution. It was through a form of limited government grounded in the consent of the people, but which filters and refines the will of the people through elected representatives, that we not only eradicated slavery [but also] that women won the right to vote, that ultimately Jim Crow and legally sanctioned racial discrimination was eliminated. It was through that that we now, in law, prohibit discrimination based upon gender and sexual orientation and more.”

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