When in the Course of Human Ingenuity, it becomes necessary for all people to recognize the similarities which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of The Great Watchmaker entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to be recognized.
It was we, the people; not we, the human citizens; nor yet we, the humans; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the non-clockwork half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – sapient robots and automatons as well as men and women. And it is a downright mockery to talk to robots of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government – the ballot.
The only question left to be settled now is: Are robots persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, robots are citizens; and no state has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against sapient robots in the constitutions and laws of the several states is today null and void, precisely as is every one against non-clockwork persons of any creed or color.