Fatal Amendments

Enthusiastic defenders of the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution are fundamentalist cultists—and women and minorities are their victims.

At least, that is the thesis of University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks’ new book, The Cult of the Constitution, an unforgiving disparagement of the Constitution’s white male origins and the allegedly unwoke application of its protections. Her subtitle brings the point home: “Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech.”

What has spawned such a jaded view of our founding document? First, says Franks, consider its history. White men wrote the Constitution, acquiesced in slavery, and deprived women of the Constitution’s protections. Second, look around. Inequality, she says, is everywhere. Police murder blacks. White men murder women, and those not murdered are beaten into retreat from civil society through Internet threats and revenge porn.

White men control the media, academia, corporations, the economy, entertainment, and government, Franks writes. It follows, therefore, that the First and Second Amendments have joined forces to deprive all but white men of full participation in society. Our First and Second Amendment rights might be tolerable were white men not villains. Alas, “white men’s monopoly on deadly force” causes women and minorities to shrink from participating in civic life, for...

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