After struggling with addiction and mental illness, Jayne Fuentes served her time, found a job and got her life back on track. She's been sober and crime-free for three years, but one thing still dogs her: fear of being jailed or forced to do physical labor because she can't afford to pay the government.
For now, we have an endless litany of tragedies to which we react with collective pathos and impotence, knowing for certain that we await the next. We have a bizarre double-standard, in which the First Amendment is spared the tortured literalism imposed upon the Second by those with ulterior motives.
The Ten Commandments, given to Moses by God for the children of Israel to follow, are not primarily religious. Their concern is largely social, rooted in love, and all of them are relational in their thrust. Four Commandments address the human-divine relationship; six of them address human-to-human relationships.
In a word, no. The judiciary is not an exceptional, deviant institution in an otherwise pure democracy. The Constitution is pervasively countermajoritarian. It protects Americans against majority tyranny by providing that the government may act only when it has the authority to do so and by explicitly protecting individual rights.
As I write this, California may be ending almost two decades of their "Wild West" approach to marijuana businesses. Californians voted in 1996 to legalize pot for medical purposes, but as of September 2015 there is still no state regulatory framework for its share of what could be a $3 billion national industry.