Cultural Revolutions

"A Clear Voice for Freedom"

"Dr. King was a strong and clear voice for freedom," declared President George W. Bush during a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day commemoration. His nominee for attorney general, John Ashcroft, proudly proclaimed during Senate testimony that, "By executive order, I made Missouri one of the first states to recognize Martin Luther King Day." These are strange words from self-described conservatives, even of the "compassionate" stripe.

Although the Supreme Court nullified congressional anti-discrimination measures in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, the counter-constitutional phenomenon recrudesced in Titles II and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The less-than-scrupulous Warren Court validated Title II through the Commerce Clause in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States and Katzenbach v. McClung. A nefarious nexus connects these provisions to such contemporary statutes as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would criminalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. They form a regulatory lattice that restricts federalism and proprietary discretion.

If one individual exemplifies the anti-discrimination apparatus, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. He extolled the student sit-ins that confused trespassing with the advance of justice and spearheaded the drive for Tides II and VII. King's anti-proprietary...

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