Why I'm Creating the 14th Amendment Center for Law & Democracy
Not sure if you read the comments, but I am a rising 3L who has been deeply discouraged about what the Supreme Court has done in just the couple of years since I started law school (the Dobbs opinion leaked two days before my con law final, and it feels like it's just been downhill from there). Sherrilyn, you are my legal hero. Your career and the work you do are my biggest inspiration in these grim times, and I am excited to follow what you will do at the 14th Amendment Center.
Please consider me one of the ordinary people who want to be part of your fight to bring the 14th Amendment — its history and purpose — back to the front and center of our political discourse.
Thank you for everything you do.
Had the extreme pleasure of hearing your powerful and inspirational commencement address at NYULaw this May. as my daughter, a Public Interest major, graduated. Your "call to action" resonates with us all, these new lawyers and their people, (lifelong progressive activists.) GodSpeed and know we stand with and will support all your efforts.⚖️🙏🙏🏾🙏🏿⚖️
Thank you for teaching me and helping me understand the precarious situation we are in.
Most excellent! Thank you for everything that you’re doing!
I’m excited to see what you can do to support the hard work we all must do to keep democracy and civil rights growing forward and getting stronger!
Godspeed! Warmest wishes to you and the new Center from one of those ordinary citizens who believes in the promise of America as a strong and multiracial democracy.
How can we contribute to this new Center?
Thank you, Ms. Ifill. There aren't two people in this world I admire and respect more than you and Dr. Rachel Maddow. Count me in as one of those ordinary Americans that love my country with all her warts, because, in my 80 years on this planet, I have never stopped seeing her promise. The 14th Amendment is a jewel that has been bastardize by people who can't let go of their hate; to many now sit on the SCOTUS. Thank you for all you have done for all of us. I look forward to This is America.
Still we rise, our voice, our rights, our future. Thank you!
This is all such heartening news
I hope that one day you can create a 28th amendment center. We need to clarify that black, white, and other natural persons deserve the rights bestowed by the 14th Amendment and not the corporations and artificial entities that exploit our elections with unlimited finances.
I look forward to all the activities this important Center will initiate! Best of luck and so many of us will do what we can to support your efforts.
To the Esteemed Sherrilyn Ifill:
As a VC Alum of ‘80, I just wanted to personally say thank you for your honesty and openness about your introduction to an entirely different culture at Vassar. I too am concerned about the revocation efforts of those hard-fought rights which afforded me and many others the opportunity to raise our standards in spite of our conditions. I’m so very proud of your accomplishments. You deserve the very best because of what you do and continue to strive for. Congratulations on the newsletter.
Today, July 9, is the 155th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Given the work of the conservative Supreme Court supermajority, there's more work to be done and not much to celebrate. Thank you, Sherrilyn for all your efforts! They are much needed. Here is a Twitter thread posted today by the League of Women Voters of Williamsburg VA, a worthy ally in your pursuits.
One-hundred and fifty-five years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, we are still trying to make equal protections and civil rights work. But issues spiked by a conservative Supreme Court majority like “colorblind” and “religious protections” and First Amendment “trump cards” are upending our understandings and causing confusion. None of this will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction anytime soon as the floodgate of lawsuits have opened and will likely take years to adjudicate.
In her opinion piece in the New York Times this morning Kate Shaw, Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law and Co-Director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy offers this bracing commentary that assures us we are on uncertain footing:
The #SCOTUS conservative supermajority’s boundless conception of the imperative to accommodate the practice of religion in our public life has sought to rearrange competing values—like pluralism & democracy—no matter how much it may diminish them.
Supreme Court “originalists” who deign to know the “mens rea” or intent of the Founding Fathers are running roughshod over both contemporary applications of the constitution as well as the will of the people. In recent years, decisions about a woman’s right to choose, affirmative action, voting rights, public health, an asserted First Amendment right to discriminate, congressional regulation & oversight…have upended American life. We seem to be heading toward a pre-New Deal period favoring elites and penalizing minorities and women.
On this anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment, we reflect on and recommit to the mission of the League of Women Voters: empowering voters and defending democracy. Given the uncertainties raised by the Supreme Court and our current political process, we are reminded that WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT IS AS IMPORTANT AS WHO’S ON THE BALLOT. As we post now through the coming elections, we will be guided by this admonition more than ever.
Brava, congratulations, and thank you for your important and always inspiring work. Please also count me among those who would love to help contribute. I'm a pediatrician in Philadelphia, and it feels to me as if health care could be an important factor and partner in these efforts. I wondered if you had thought at all about bringing health into the fold along with business and the arts? (Or perhaps, in your wisdom, you may have already seen and understood medicine as already in the fold with business in this regard.) With much appreciation for all your work, and so looking forward to all that is next.