Where do our rights come from?
We know that while our Constitution and Bill of Rights promise to uphold a range of human rights, at no point in our history has any government ever fully fulfilled that promise. And we know that huge swaths of our population, people of color, women, LGBT people, the working class, dissidents were excluded from their protections by design.
Yet their struggles for human rights, for inclusion in our Constitution’s protections, have expanded our definitions of what it means to have personal liberty and human dignity, freedom and human rights.
We at Defending Rights & Dissent believe in the tradition of popular constitutionalism, which looks to movements for defending, expanding, and enriching our democracy, for leadership in making our Constitution real.
The promise of our Constitution is still powerful, but only if we seek to fulfill it.
We know that throughout history, from Lockner to Dred Scott, elites have couched their actions in the language of constitutionalism. But we also know that that language ultimately belongs to We the People. We know that supposed defenders of liberty have sought to eviscerate our rights in order to save them.
That’s why this Constitution Day we’re asking you to support popular Constitutionalism by donating to Defending Rights & Dissent. We’re working to protect the right to political expression, rein in unchecked surveillance, and to empower movements that democratize our society.