Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Erika Hanson


The federal government has failed to fulfill the constitutional guarantee of equal rights for all. While this promise requires affirmative governmental action to ensure the protection of historically subordinated groups, policymakers persist in using the will of the majority to deny the dignity and fundamental rights of groups lacking political defenses. Luckily, recent developments in the doctrine of marriage equality now allow advocates and supportive lawmakers to remedy this injustice by forever removing the fundamental rights of subordinated groups from political debate. Policymakers must address the harm to subordinated groups posed by a tiered system of fundamental rights through constitutional precedent that fully accounts for these considerations. This Article details the expanded vision of liberty espoused by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, and applies this analysis to another area in which a historically subordinated group's rights have been systematically curtailed-abortion rights. Following Obergefell's vision of liberty, the government must facilitate the exercise of that fundamental right by ensuring that individuals enrolled in Medicaid receive coverage of abortion.