FauxPolitik

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Alan Keyes is Making Sense: I'm not a fan of state religions, and I'd oppose any law that tried to do so, but Keyes has a point -- from a strict constructionist view. Several states at the Constitutional Convention had state religions, and their aim was to keep the federal government from ever being able to overrule them. The First Amendment is quite clear in its language, without those tricky adverbial clauses like the second has. The real question is whether Keyes is right about the 14th Amendment and "privileges and immunities," a question I am not expert on.

I think the Constitution has grown beyond this, though, like it or not. And I'm totally comfortable with the interpretation that the 14th binds the states to the same limits as the federal government regarding the bill of rights. For example, I'm not comfortable with an interpretation of the First Amendment that says, although Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech, the states can do so.

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