If the post-civil rights era has had one distinguishing feature, it has been the perpetual quest to lay claim to the movement’s unambiguous moral authority. The defining civil-rights issue of our time isn’t just one issue; it’s any issue that lacks the righteous urgency its advocates believe it deserves.

The latest “civil rights issue of our time” comes to us via Harvard University Law Professors Lawrence Lessig. Writing in USA Today, Lessig raised the stakes on the Democratic Party’s “House Resolution 1” as the reform from which all future reforms would spring. Even if it isn’t the very first matter on the docket when the next Congress convenes, its designation at the top of the list of Democratic priorities “screams a recognition” of the “critical failures” that cripple our republic. So, what is it? A bill that would augment donor disclosure requirements, expand voter registration, reduce the likelihood of partisan gerrymandering, and end first-class travel for lawmakers, among other things.

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