This Article posits a conception of dignity, as expressed through the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), as a useful concept to apply to situations when values from the United States constitution conflict. The concept of dignity is proposed specifically to break stalemates between values of free speech and equal protection. As an example the article reviews the issues raised by various forms of hate speech and the flying of confederate flags at public schools. The Kantian take on the concept of dignity employs condemnation of certain behaviors, such as mocking another person. Thereby as an example, if the behavior in question involves mocking then the constitutional value of equal protection wins out, if not then free speech wins out.
R. G. Wright,
Dignity and Conflicts of Constitutional Values: The Case of Free Speech and Equal Protection,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol43/iss3/4