The Fourteenth Amendment includes a provision that I consider to be the bedrock of American liberty, the Equal Protection Clause.
Essential to the functioning of a free society is a commitment to the Rule of Law. And what does the Rule of Law mean? It means a government that guarantees the equal protection of the laws. Blind justice. Fairness. These principles are embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment.
For many Americans, however, every day is a reminder that equality is not yet a reality in our communities and in our courtrooms.

But our history is one of progress—and the first step in solving any problem is to recognize that it exists.
“No justice, no peace.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these words 100 years after the adoption of the Equal Protection Clause.
Dr. King said, “There can be no justice without peace, and there can be no peace without justice…Justice is indivisible, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“No justice, no peace.” Is this a threat? A call to violence? No. It is an acknowledgment that without justice, peace is illusory. There is no state of peace in a society that condones injustice. The victims of such injustice, though they may remain silent, do not live in peace.
And there is no state of justice without equality under the law, the promise of the Equal Protection Clause.
(Adapted from my opening remarks at @naacpgr’s 52nd Annual Freedom Fund Dinner and Awards Ceremony in 2018, the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.)
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