Federalist Society member C. Boyden Gray writes for Forbes:

Last year witnessed the astounding speed at which public and expert opinion now coalesce around policies that would have seemed unacceptable a few years earlier. From same-sex marriage to marijuana legalization, public opinion has shifted rapidly to form an emergent cultural consensus. And these ideological tipping points—for better and for worse—come increasingly quickly in our high-tech, socially networked world.

Changing our minds in response to social stimuli is necessary to survival. Without it we could not learn from each other, adapt to new information, and develop a shared culture.

But rapid swings in social consensus also pose a risk. When the new orthodoxy takes hold overnight, those who wake up on “the wrong side of history” are just as rapidly excoriated. And when that social stigma is laced with the force of law, it can threaten basic rights that are essential to a liberal democracy—freedoms of speech, dissent and independent thought itself.

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