Levy and Podesta contend that their partnership has little to do with the political optics of bipartisanship; rather it’s rooted in their support for “the principle of equality before the law”:
Although we serve, respectively, as president of a progressive and chairman of a libertarian think tank, we are not joining the foundation’s advisory board to present a “bipartisan” front. Rather, we have come together in a nonpartisan fashion because the principle of equality before the law transcends the left-right divide and cuts to the core of our nation’s character. This is not about politics; it’s about an indispensable right vested in all Americans.
Over more than two centuries, minorities in America have gradually experienced greater freedom and been subjected to fewer discriminatory laws. But that process unfolded with great difficulty.
As the country evolved, the meaning of one small word — “all” — has evolved as well. Our nation’s Founders reaffirmed in the Declaration of Independence the self-evident truth that “all Men are created equal,” and our Pledge of Allegiance concludes with the simple and definitive words “liberty and justice for all.” Still, we have struggled mightily since our independence, often through our courts, to ensure that liberty and justice is truly available to all Americans.
The Courts have led the way in aligning American policies to “the principle of equality before the law,” overruling legislative bans against interracial marriage in 1967′s Loving v. Virginia, and protecting minority rights from the tyranny of the majority. “Indeed, the Supreme Court issued its Loving ruling in the face of widespread opposition,” Podesta and Levy write. “A Gallup poll taken within months of the decision found that 74 percent of the American public ‘disapproved’ of interracial marriage. Nevertheless, the court vindicated those constitutional rights to which every American is entitled.” Public support for gay marriage is far stronger. According to a Gallup Poll released in May of 2010, 44% support legalizing same-sex marriage, while 53% oppose it. The opposition “tied with the lowest rate ever measured by Gallup, from 2007.”
Levy and Podesta conclude, “The decision in Perry depends, of course, on values far more permanent and important than opinion polls. No less than the constitutional rights of millions of Americans are at stake. But the public appears to be catching up with the Constitution. Just a little more leadership from the courts would be the perfect prescription for a free society.”