United States Constitution Amendment 14

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Section 1.

§ 1   ¶ 1      All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

§ 2   ¶ 1      Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and Citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.

§ 3   ¶ 1      No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

§ 4   ¶ 1      The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

§ 5   ¶ 1      Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

[ 1 ]      Passed by Congress June 13, 1866
[ 2 ]      Ratified July 28, 1868

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Books on the Fourteenth Amendment

Book Cover Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Second Edition
Raoul Berger, Forrest McDonald
Explores judicial activism and usurpation of the legislative process under the guise of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Book Cover No Liberty for License: The Forgotten Logic of the First Amendment
David Lowenthal, Harvey C. Mansfield
An antidote for judicial activism, which gives historical evidence that current interpretations of the first and fourteenth amendments is flawed.

Book Cover Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment
Robert J. Cottrol
Reprints of a variety of original sources and commentaries, both from the point of view of the right to keep and bear arms and from the point of view of gun-control advocates. Includes a discussion of the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment in assuring the right to keep and bear arms to former slaves in the South.

Book Cover The Fourteenth Amendment: From Political Principle to Judicial Doctrine
William Edward Nelson
The author presents evidence that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment intended to affirm the general public's long-standing rhetorical commitment to the principle of equality and individual rights on the one hand, and to the principle of local self-rule on the other.

Book Cover Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876
Stephen P. Halbrook
Examines the 14th Amendment as it relates to the right of the former slaves to carry arms.

Book Cover We the People; The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court
Michael J. Perry
Is the Supreme Court usurping American politics? An analysis of several major constitutional conflicts centered on the Fourteenth Amendment - conflicts over racial segregation, race-based affirmative action, sex-based discrimination, homosexuality, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide.

Book Cover Progressive Constitutionalism; Reconstructing the Fourteenth Amendment
Robin West
A radical feminist plays fast and loose with historical data in an attempt to reshape the Fourteenth Amendment into a tool for advancing the progressive leftist cause.

Book Cover The Supreme Court and the Second Bill of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Nationalization of Civil Liberties
Richard C. Cortner

Book Cover No Easy Walk to Freedom; Reconstruction and the Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment
James Edward Bond
Original source documents and commentary on the Southern ratification debate on the 14th Amendment. The author argues that the 14th Amendment was intended both to guarantee everyone the fundamental rights of citizenship and personhood and to nationalize the protection of those rights within the federal structure ordained by the Constitution. That means that the states were to retain primary responsibility for defining and protecting those rights, subject only to the requirement that they treat all fairly and equally. Rooted in the natural rights philosophy of the Declaration of Independence rather than in the text of the Bill of Rights, the commands of the 14th Amendment were intended to protect liberty in an inseparable union of states.

Book Cover The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights
Raoul Berger
In recent years the Supreme Court has taken an expansive interpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the states. The author argues that this is contrary to the original intent of the fourteenth amendment, which should be understood in the light of the tenth amendment.

Book Cover No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights
Michael Kent Curtis
The author argues that the Fourteenth Amendment was intended by the framers to incorporate the Bill of Rights and therefore to inhibit state action. This is the interpretation which is favored by advocates of judicial activism at the Federal level.

  Lectures on the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
William D. Guthrie

Book Cover Ratification of the 14th Amendment
Joseph B. James
Examines the intent of the states in ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment.

  The Fourteenth Amendment and the States; A Study of the Operation of the Restraint Clauses of Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Charles Wallace Collins

  The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights; The Incorporation Theory
Charles Fairman, Stanley Morrison, Leonard Williams Levy

  Equality and the Law
Louis A. Warsoff
A study of the doctrine of equal protection as promulgated in the Fourteenth Amendment and its interpretation by the Supreme Court down to the present.

  The Adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment
Horace Edgar Flack
The first eleven Amendments to the Constitution were intended as checks or limitations on the Federal Government, due largely to the fear that the Federal Government might become too strong and centralized. The Amendments arising out of the Civil War Between the States have just the opposite effect, and finding the proper balance has been left to the courts.

Historic document in the public domain; Annotations Copyright © 1999 Daniel Weyrich.

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Last updated: March 22, 2003; Version: 1.5