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Concurring Opinions is a blog that focuses on legal issues. Everyone who believes in democracy and wants to understand the intellectual underpinnings should read the blog. Today's CO post commemorates Martin Luther King with a quote from a speech by John Bingham. Amongst his many accomplishments, Bingham was the principal drafter of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This Amendment recognized blacks as citizens and gave them equal rights under law.
The quote from Bingham speaking to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia:
"We are deliberating here today upon a bill which illustrates the great principle that this day shakes the throne of every despot upon the globe, and that is, whether man was made for government or government made for man. Those who oppose this bill, whether they intend it or not, by recording their votes against this enactment, reiterate the old dogma of tyrants, that the people are made to be governed and not to govern. I deny that proposition. I deny it because all my convictions are opposed to it. I deny it because I am sure that the Constitution of my country is against it."
For individual empowerment to freely operate, men must govern and not be governed.