Early in the first year of his presidency, Bill Clinton floated the name of Lani Guinier to be the Justice Department's chief civil-rights lawyer. Although Guinier never made it to Senate confirmation hearings, she was well qualified by education and professional training. Moreover, as a black Jewish female, it was evident to her that majoritarian democracy is often less than fair—and she was forthright about wishing to correct it by democratic means.
Ironically, the minority veto, one of the alleged means by which Guinier wished to assure fairness, harkened back to the process of government advocated by John C. Calhoun (1782–1850). For Calhoun, constitutionalism or limited government was justified by epistemological nominalism, and was ensured by the concurrent majority and nullification.
Like that of Aristotle, James Madison, and Karl Marx, Calhoun's political philosophy was based on class analysis. Indeed, the historian of American thought, Richard Hofstadter, subtitled a chapter on Calhoun, “The Marx of the Master Class.” As Hofstadter explains, in Calhoun,
… there is discernible a rough parallel to several ideas that were later elaborated and refined by Marx: the idea of pervasive exploitation and class struggle in history; a labor theory of value and of a surplus appropriated by the capitalists; the concentration of capital under capitalistic production; the fall of working-class conditions to the level of subsistence; the growing revolt of the laboring class against the capitalists; the prediction of social revolution.