When you stand alone, people can ascribe to you a range of qualities — brave, perceptive, crazy, or ignorant, among others. In the case of Sveen v. Melin, Justice Neil Gorsuch took on that role, acting as the lone dissenter in the 8-1 Supreme Court decision.
In his lonely stand, Gorsuch sought to breathe life into the Contracts Clause found in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. That clause declares that no state shall pass a “law impairing the obligation of contracts.” These words once provided a potent protection to individual rights. The Framers intended it to keep state governments from passing laws that relieved persons from fulfilling what they contractually had agreed to do — a legal allowance to violate their word.