On April 11th, 1823, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams. In the private correspondence, the man generally regarded to be one of the three most brilliant founding fathers confided to his fellow founder and former President, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter”.
Countless Americans mistakenly believe that the constitution says we are a nation, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Though it’s a nice sentiment, many don’t realize that the line came halfway through the nation’s history in the Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln and isn’t part of our constitutional framework at all.
I happened to re-read some of Justice Scalia’s opinions tonight and in his Evans dissent, Scalia stated, “Since the Constitution of the United States says nothing about this subject, it is left to be resolved by normal democratic means”. This sentiment embodies a fear that founding father Madison believed was inevitable – that someday, someone would come along and convince people that only those rights listed in the constitution were constitutional rights.