The bill of rights and the fourteenth amendment

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the bill of rights and the fourteenth amendment

No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights by Michael Kent Curtis

“The book is carefully organized and well written, and it deals with a question that is still of great importance—what is the relationship of the Bill of Rights to the states.”—Journal of American History“Curtis effectively settles a serious legal debate: whether the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights guarantees and thereby inhibit state action. Taking on a formidable array of constitutional scholars, . . . he rebuts their argument with vigor and effectiveness, conclusively demonstrating the legitimacy of the incorporation thesis. . . . A bold, forcefully argued, important study.”—Library Journal
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Published 11.01.2019

Teaching the Bill of Rights: The 14th Amendment - Part One

The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. Akhil Reed Amar. Follow this and additional works at: This Article is.
Michael Kent Curtis

Fourteenth Amendment

Incorporation , in United States law, is the doctrine by which portions of the Bill of Rights have been made applicable to the states. When the Bill of Rights was ratified, courts held that its protections only extended to the actions of the federal government and that the Bill of Rights did not place limitations on the authority of state and local governments. However, the post- Civil War era, beginning in with the Thirteenth Amendment , which declared the abolition of slavery, gave rise to the incorporation of other Amendments, applying more rights to the states and people over time. Gradually, various portions of the Bill of Rights have been held to be applicable to state and local governments by incorporation through the Fourteenth Amendment in and the Fifteenth Amendment in Prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment and the development of the incorporation doctrine, the Supreme Court in held in Barron v. Baltimore that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal, but not any state governments. Cruikshank still held that the First and Second Amendment did not apply to state governments.

The constitutional authority off Congress to pass such a law was unclear, and a future Congress could by statute, potential deny citizenship status to former slaves. The only way to be certain of congressional authority on this subject and assure permanent citizenship was to amend the Constitution. Another area of questionable congressional authority was the ability to address the Black Codes enacted by many Southern States that diminished the benefits of citizenship for former slaves. The status of former slaves was not the only issue facing the country after the war. There were also questions of congressional representation, former rebels, and debts incurred by the rebellion. To address these concerns Congress proposed the Fourteenth Amendment and sent it to the States for ratification on June 13, The Fourteenth Amendment redefined the relationship between the federal government and the States.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and 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. Due process under the Fourteenth Amendment can be broken down into two categories: procedural due process and substantive due process. Relevant issues, as discussed in detail below, include notice, opportunity for hearing, confrontation and cross-examination, discovery, basis of decision, and availability of counsel. Substantive due process has generally dealt with specific subject areas, such as liberty of contract or privacy, and over time has alternately emphasized the importance of economic and noneconomic matters. In theory, the issues of procedural and substantive due process are closely related. Although the extent of the rights protected by substantive due process may be controversial, its theoretical basis is firmly established and forms the basis for much of modern constitutional case law.

Spring The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment: The Evolution of the Absorption Doctrine. Alex B. Lacy, Jr. Follow this and additional works.
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Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy , which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress., Not long after the amendment was ratified, its Due Process Clause became the subject of scrutiny.

Ratified on July 9, , during the post-Civil War era , the 14th, along with the 13th and 15th Amendments, are collectively known as the Reconstruction Amendments. Although the 14th Amendment was intended to protect the rights of the recently freed slaves, it has continued to play a major role in constitutional politics to this day. In response to the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment , many Southern states enacted laws known as Black Codes designed to continue to deny African Americans certain rights and privileges enjoyed by white citizens. Under the states' Black Codes, recently freed slaves were not allowed to travel widely, own certain types of property, or sue in court. In addition, African Americans could be jailed for not being able to repay their debts, leading to racially-discriminating labor practices like the leasing of convicts to private businesses. Of the three Reconstruction amendments, the 14th is the most complicated and the one that has had the more unforeseen effects. Its broad goal was to reinforce the Civil Rights Act of , which ensured that "all persons born in the United States" were citizens and were to be given "full and equal benefit of all laws.


  1. Riancidamrec says:

    The Fourteenth Amendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens.

  2. Darius W. says:

    US Government for Kids: Fourteenth Amendment

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