The Declaration is the light by which we must guide our understanding of our political and legal institutions. More than a merely rhetorical statement, the Declaration sets the framework for reading our fundamental law.
Sandefur says progressivism "inverts America's constitutional foundations" by holding that the Constitution is "about" democracy, which rejects the Framers' premise that majority rule is legitimate "only within the boundaries" of the individual's natural rights.
Many conservatives should be discomfited by Sandefur's analysis, which entails this conclusion: Their indiscriminate denunciations of "judicial activism" inadvertently serve progressivism. The protection of rights requires a judiciary actively engaged in enforcing what the Constitution is "basically about," which is making majority power respect individuals' rights.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.