Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, April 22, 2011

Judge Brown on American Exceptionalism

One of the best judges in America is Judge Janice Rogers Brown. She served on the California state supreme court, and now she is a federal judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals. In a speech to the Fund for American Studies last year, she talked about what she called "The Fortress Stone of American Exceptionalism." She said it is becoming increasingly clear that the assault on American exceptionalism is really an assault on American constitutionalism.

Judge Brown first referred to Superman. She said if she asks an audience of people her own age "What does Superman fight for?" the answer would quickly come back: "truth, justice and the American way!" But in the latest Superman movie, our superhero shies away from America's exceptionalism by declaring he now fights for "truth, justice, and oh all that stuff." The movie's scriptwriters said the change was deliberate. They rejected the term "American way" because they were "uncertain" what it meant.

In this speech, Judge Brown quoted the lyrics of a song that was part of a Constitution Week celebration sponsored by the citizens of Gilbert, Arizona, and I quote it for you now: "Since the dawn of time, tyrants have conspired to rob humanity of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. [But] ... the Constitution ... has stood for over two centuries as a protective fortress, sheltering generation after generation from those who would destroy freedom. ... Consider our role in defending the very fortress that defends us all. Consider both its immense power, but also its fragile vulnerability. This wall of protection is only as strong as our devotion to ... safeguard its truths. ... When time has passed and we are gone, Will freedom's fortress still be strong?" Judge brown concluded: "That is your choice; your challenge."

I agree. That is our challenge.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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