Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

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The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments
Reconstruction Amendments
The Reconstruction Amendments are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, adopted between 1865 and 1870, the five years immediately following the Civil War...

.

Its Citizenship Clause
Citizenship Clause
The Citizenship Clause refers to the first sentence of Section 1 in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This clause represented Congress's reversal of that portion of the Dred Scott v...

 provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott v. Sandford, , also known as the Dred Scott Decision, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S...

ruling by the Supreme Court (1857) that held that blacks could not be citizens of the United States.

Its Due Process Clause
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

 prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights
United States Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

 applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive
Substantive due process
Substantive due process is one of the theories of law through which courts enforce limits on legislative and executive powers and authority...

 and procedural rights.

Its Equal Protection Clause
Equal Protection Clause
The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"...

 requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

(1954), the Supreme Court decision which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, included the racial segregation or hypersegregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines...

. In Reed v. Reed
Reed v. Reed
Reed v. Reed, , was an Equal Protection case in the United States in which the Supreme Court ruled that the administrators of estates cannot be named in a way that discriminates between sexes. After the death of their adopted son, Sally and Cecil Reed sought to be named the administrator of their...

(1971), the Supreme Court for the first time ruled that laws arbitrarily requiring sex discrimination violated the Equal Protection Clause.

The amendment also includes a number of clauses dealing with the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 and its officials.

Text



Citizenship and civil rights



Background


Section 1 formally defines citizenship and protects a person's civil and political rights from being abridged or denied by any state. This represented the overruling of the Dred Scott decision's
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott v. Sandford, , also known as the Dred Scott Decision, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S...

 ruling that black people
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 were not, and could not become, citizens of the United States or enjoy any of the privileges and immunities of citizenship. The Civil Rights Act of 1866
Civil Rights Act of 1866
The Civil Rights Act of 1866, , enacted April 9, 1866, is a federal law in the United States that was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War...

 had already granted U.S. citizenship to all persons born in the United States, as long as those persons were not subject to a foreign power; the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment added this principle into the Constitution to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to be unconstitutional
Constitutionality
Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution. Acts that are not in accordance with the rules laid down in the constitution are deemed to be ultra vires.-See also:*ultra vires*Company law*Constitutional law...

 for lack of congressional authority to enact such a law and to prevent a future Congress from altering it by a mere majority vote.

This section was also in response to the Black Codes that southern states
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 had passed in the wake of the Thirteenth Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

, which abolished slavery in the United States. The Black Codes attempted to return former slaves to something like their former condition by, among other things, restricting their movement, forcing them to enter into year-long labor contracts, prohibiting them from owning firearms, and by preventing them from suing
Lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 or testifying in court.

Finally, this section was in response to violence against black people within the southern states. A Joint Committee on Reconstruction
United States Congress Joint Committee on Reconstruction
The Joint Committee on Reconstruction, also known as the Joint Committee of Fifteen, was a joint committee of the United States Congress that played a major role in Reconstruction in the wake of the American Civil War...

 found that only a Constitutional amendment could protect black people's rights and welfare within those states.

Citizenship Clause


There are varying interpretations of the original intent of Congress, based on statements made during the congressional debate over the amendment. During the original debate over the amendment Senator Jacob M. Howard
Jacob M. Howard
Jacob Merritt Howard was a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan during and after the American Civil War.-Early life:...

 of Michigan—the author of the Citizenship Clause—described the clause as having the same content, despite different wording, as the earlier Civil Rights Act of 1866
Civil Rights Act of 1866
The Civil Rights Act of 1866, , enacted April 9, 1866, is a federal law in the United States that was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War...

, namely, that it excludes Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 who maintain their tribal ties and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers." According to historian Glenn W. LaFantasie of Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA. It was formally founded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1906, though its roots reach back a quarter-century earlier....

, "A good number of his fellow senators supported his view of the citizenship clause." Others also agreed that the children of ambassadors and foreign ministers were to be excluded. However, concerning children born in the United States to parents who are not U.S. citizens (and not foreign diplomats), three Senators, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary is a standing committee of the United States Senate, of the United States Congress. The Judiciary Committee, with 18 members, is charged with conducting hearings prior to the Senate votes on confirmation of federal judges nominated by the...

 Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull was a United States Senator from Illinois during the American Civil War, and co-author of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.-Education and early career:...

, the author of the Civil Rights Act, as well as President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

, asserted that both the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment would confer citizenship on them at birth, and no Senator offered a contrary opinion.

Senator James Rood Doolittle
James Rood Doolittle
James Rood Doolittle was an American politician who served as a senator from the state of Wisconsin from March 4, 1857, to March 4, 1869. He was a strong supporter of President Abraham Lincoln's administration during the American Civil War.-Early life and career:Born in Hampton, New York,...

 of Wisconsin asserted that all Native Americans were subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, so that the phrase "Indians not taxed" would be preferable, but Trumbull and Howard disputed this, arguing that the U.S. government did not have full jurisdiction over Native American tribes, which govern themselves and make treaties with the United States.

In Elk v. Wilkins
Elk v. Wilkins
Elk v. Wilkins, , was a United States Supreme Court case.John Elk, a Native American was born on an Indian reservation and subsequently moved to non-reservation U.S. territory, Omaha, Nebraska, where he renounced his former tribal allegiance and claimed citizenship by virtue of the Citizenship Clause...

, , the clause's meaning was tested regarding whether birth in the United States automatically extended national citizenship. The Supreme Court held that Native Americans who voluntarily quit their tribes did not automatically gain national citizenship.

The clause's meaning was tested again in the case of
United States v. Wong Kim Ark
United States v. Wong Kim Ark
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, , was a United States Supreme Court decision that set an important legal precedent about the role of jus soli as a factor in determining a person's claim to United States citizenship...

 . The Supreme Court held that under the Fourteenth Amendment a man born within the United States to Chinese citizens who have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States and are carrying on business in the United States—and whose parents were not employed in a diplomatic or other official capacity by a foreign power—was a citizen of the United States. Subsequent decisions have applied the principle to the children of foreign nationals of non-Chinese descent.

Loss of citizenship


Loss of national citizenship is possible only under the following circumstances:
  • Fraud in the naturalization
    Naturalization
    Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

     process. Technically, this is not loss of citizenship but rather a voiding of the purported naturalization and a declaration that the immigrant never was a United States citizen.
  • Voluntary relinquishment of citizenship. This may be accomplished either through renunciation procedures specially established by the State Department or through other actions that demonstrate desire to give up national citizenship.


For much of the country's history, voluntary acquisition or exercise of a foreign citizenship was considered sufficient cause for revocation of national citizenship. This concept was enshrined in a series of treaties between the United States and other countries (the Bancroft Treaties
Bancroft Treaties
The Bancroft treaties, also called the Bancroft conventions, were a series of agreements made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries between the United States and other countries that 1) recognized the right of each party's nationals to become naturalized citizens of the other; and 2) defined...

). However, the Supreme Court repudiated this concept in Afroyim v. Rusk
Afroyim v. Rusk
Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 , was a United States Supreme Court decision that set an important legal precedent that a person born or naturalized in the United States cannot be deprived of his or her citizenship involuntarily. The U.S. government had attempted to revoke the citizenship of a man...

, , as well as Vance v. Terrazas
Vance v. Terrazas
Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 , was a United States Supreme Court decision that established that a United States citizen cannot have his or her citizenship taken away unless he or she has acted with an intent to give up that citizenship...

, , holding that the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment barred the Congress from revoking citizenship.

Due Process Clause



Beginning with
Allgeyer v. Louisiana
Allgeyer v. Louisiana
Allgeyer v. Louisiana, , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which a unanimous court struck down a Louisiana statute on grounds that it violated an individual's "liberty to contract." This was the first case in which the Supreme Court interpreted the word liberty in the Due Process...

(1897), the Court interpreted the Due Process Clause
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

 of the Fourteenth Amendment as providing substantive
Substantive due process
Substantive due process is one of the theories of law through which courts enforce limits on legislative and executive powers and authority...

 protection to private contracts and thus prohibiting a variety of social and economic regulation, under what was referred to as "freedom of contract
Freedom of contract
Freedom of contract is the freedom of individuals and corporations to form contracts without government restrictions. This is opposed to government restrictions such as minimum wage, competition law, or price fixing...

". Thus, the Court struck down a law decreeing maximum hours for workers in a bakery in
Lochner v. New York
Lochner v. New York
Lochner vs. New York, , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that held a "liberty of contract" was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case involved a New York law that limited the number of hours that a baker could work each day to ten, and limited the...

(1905) and struck down a minimum wage law in Adkins v. Children's Hospital
Adkins v. Children's Hospital
Adkins v. Children's Hospital, , is a Supreme Court opinion holding that federal minimum wage legislation for women was an unconstitutional infringement of liberty of contract, as protected by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment....

(1923). However, the Court did uphold some economic regulation such as state prohibition laws (Mugler v. Kansas), laws declaring maximum hours for mine workers (Holden v. Hardy, 1898), laws declaring maximum hours for female workers (Muller v. Oregon
Muller v. Oregon
Muller v. Oregon, , was a landmark decision in United States Supreme Court history, as it justifies both sex discrimination and usage of labor laws during the time period...

, 1908), President Wilson's intervention in a railroad strike (Wilson v. New, 1917), as well as federal laws regulating narcotics (United States v. Doremus, 1919). The Court repudiated the "freedom of contract" line of cases in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937).

By the 1960s, the Court had extended its interpretation of substantive due process to include rights and freedoms that are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution but that, according to the Court, extend or derive from existing rights. The Court has also significantly expanded the reach of procedural due process, requiring some sort of hearing before the government may terminate civil service employees, expel a student from public school, or cut off a welfare recipient's benefits.

The Court has ruled that, in certain circumstances, the Due Process Clause requires a judge to recuse himself on account of concern of there being a conflict of interest
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other....

. For example, in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.
Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.
Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co., 129 S. Ct. 2252 , is a decision by United States Supreme Court dealing with the circumstances under which a judge has a duty to recuse himself from a case.- History :...

 (2009) the Court ruled that a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the state supreme court of West Virginia, the highest of West Virginia's state courts. It is located in the state capital, Charleston....

 had to recuse himself from a case involving a major contributor to his campaign for election to that court.

The Due Process Clause has been used to apply most of the Bill of Rights to the states (see below for details).

Equal Protection Clause




In the decades following the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court overturned laws barring blacks from juries (Strauder v. West Virginia
Strauder v. West Virginia
Strauder v. West Virginia, , was a United States Supreme Court case about racial discrimination.-Background:At the time, West Virginia excluded African-Americans from juries. Strauder was a Black man who, at trial, had been convicted of murder by an all-white jury...

, 1880) or discriminating against Chinese American
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

s in the regulation of laundry businesses (
Yick Wo v. Hopkins
Yick Wo v. Hopkins
Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 , was the first case where the United States Supreme Court ruled that a law that is race-neutral on its face, but is administered in a prejudicial manner, is an infringement of the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S...

, 1886), as violations of the Equal Protection Clause
Equal Protection Clause
The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"...

. However, in
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the United States, upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in private businesses , under the doctrine of "separate but equal".The decision was handed...

(1896), the Supreme Court held that the states could impose segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 so long as they provided similar facilities—the formation of the “separate but equal
Separate but equal
Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law that justified systems of segregation. Under this doctrine, services, facilities and public accommodations were allowed to be separated by race, on the condition that the quality of each group's public facilities was to...

” doctrine. The Court went even further in restricting the Equal Protection Clause in
Berea College v. Kentucky
Berea College v. Kentucky
Berea College v. Kentucky , was a significant case argued before the United States Supreme Court that upheld the rights of states to prohibit private educational institutions chartered as corporations from admitting both black and white students. Like the related Plessy v. Ferguson case, it was...

 (1908), holding that the states could force private actors to discriminate by prohibiting colleges from having both black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 and white
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 students. By the early twentieth century, the Equal Protection Clause had been eclipsed to the point that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932...

 dismissed it as "the usual last resort of constitutional arguments."

The Court held to the "separate but equal" doctrine for more than fifty years, despite numerous cases in which the Court itself had found that the segregated facilities provided by the states were almost never equal, until Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

(1954) reached the Court. In Brown the Court ruled that even if segregated black and white schools were of equal quality in facilities and teachers, segregation by itself was harmful to black students and so was unconstitutional. Brown met with a campaign of resistance from white Southerners, and for decades the federal courts attempted to enforce Brown's mandate against repeated attempts at circumvention. This resulted in the controversial desegregation busing decrees handed down by federal courts in various parts of the nation (see Milliken v. Bradley
Milliken v. Bradley
Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 , was a significant United States Supreme Court case dealing with the planned desegregation busing of public school students across district lines among 53 school districts in metropolitan Detroit. It concerned the plans to integrate public schools in the United...

, 1974). In Hernandez v. Texas
Hernandez v. Texas
Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that decided that Mexican Americans and all other racial groups in the United States had equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution....

(1954) the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment protects those beyond the racial classes of white or "Negro
Negro
The word Negro is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance, whether of African descent or not...

" and extends to other racial and ethnic groups, such as Mexican American
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

s in this case. In the half century since
Brown, the Court has extended the reach of the Equal Protection Clause to other historically disadvantaged groups, such as women and illegitimate children, although it has applied a somewhat less stringent standard than it has applied to governmental discrimination on the basis of race (United States v. Virginia
United States v. Virginia
United States v. Virginia, , is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Virginia Military Institute's long-standing male-only admission policy in a 7-1 decision...

, 1996; Levy v. Louisiana
Levy v. Louisiana
Levy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 , is a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. This decision deals primarily with the civil rights of illegitimate children, specifically in regards to their ability to sue on a deceased parent's behalf...

, 1968).

The Supreme Court, since
Wesberry v. Sanders
Wesberry v. Sanders
Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 was a U.S. Supreme Court case involving U.S. Congressional districts in the state of Georgia. The Court issued its ruling on February 17, 1964. This decision requires each state to draw its U.S...

(1964) and Reynolds v. Sims
Reynolds v. Sims
Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 was a United States Supreme Court case that ruled that state legislature districts had to be roughly equal in population.-Facts:...

(1964), has interpreted the Equal Protection Clause as requiring the states to apportion their congressional districts and state legislative seats according to "one man, one vote". The Court has also struck down redistricting plans in which race was a key consideration. In Shaw v. Reno
Shaw v. Reno
Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 , was a United States Supreme Court case argued on April 20, 1993. The ruling was significant in the area of redistricting and racial gerrymandering. The court ruled in a 5-4 decision that redistricting based on race must be held to a standard of strict scrutiny under the...

(1993), the Court prohibited a North Carolina plan aimed at creating majority-black districts to balance historic underrepresentation in the state's congressional delegations. In League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry
League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry
League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 548 U. S. 399 , is a Supreme Court of the United States case in which the Court ruled that only District 23 of the 2003 Texas redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act. The Court refused to throw out the entire plan, ruling that the plaintiffs...

(2006), the Court ruled that Tom DeLay
Tom DeLay
Thomas Dale "Tom" DeLay is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1984 until 2006. He was Republican Party House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of criminal money laundering charges in...

's Texas redistricting plan intentionally diluted the votes of Latino
Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

s and thus violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Incorporation



In
Barron v. Baltimore
Barron v. Baltimore
Barron v. Mayor of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 established a precedent on whether the United States Bill of Rights could be applied to state governments.John Barron co-owned a profitable wharf in the Baltimore harbor...

 (1833), the Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states. While many state constitutions
State constitution (United States)
In the United States, each state has its own constitution.Usually, they are longer than the 7,500-word federal Constitution and are more detailed regarding the day-to-day relationships between government and the people. The shortest is the Constitution of Vermont, adopted in 1793 and currently...

 are modeled after the United States Constitution and federal laws, those state constitutions did not necessarily include provisions comparable to the Bill of Rights. According to Akhil Reed Amar
Akhil Reed Amar
Akhil Reed Amar is an American legal scholar, an expert on constitutional law and criminal procedure. Having been the Southmayd Professor of Law at Yale Law School, he was named the Sterling Professor of Law there in 2008...

, the framers and early supporters of the Fourteenth Amendment believed that it would ensure that the states would be required to recognize the individual rights the federal government was already required to respect in the Bill of Rights and in other constitutional provisions; all of these rights were likely understood as falling within the "privileges or immunities" safeguarded by the amendment. However, in the Slaughter-House Cases (1873), the Supreme Court ruled that the amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause
Privileges or Immunities Clause
The Privileges or Immunities Clause is Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. It states:Along with the rest of the Fourteenth Amendment, this clause became part of the Constitution on July 9, 1868....

 was limited to "privileges or immunities" granted to citizens by the federal government by virtue of national citizenship. The Court further held in the
Civil Rights Cases
Civil Rights Cases
The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 , were a group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue for the United States Supreme Court to review...

 (1883) that the amendment was limited to "state action" and, therefore, did not authorize the Congress to outlaw racial discrimination
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 on the part of private individuals or organizations. Neither of these decisions has been overturned and have been specifically reaffirmed several times.

However, by the latter half of the 20th century, nearly all of the rights in the Bill of Rights had been applied to the states, under what is known as the incorporation doctrine. The Supreme Court has held that the amendment's Due Process Clause incorporates all of the substantive protections of the First
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

, Second
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second...

, Fourth
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause...

, Fifth
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215...

 (except for its Grand Jury Clause) and Sixth
Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights which sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions...

 Amendments and the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment. While the Third Amendment
Third Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Third Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights. It was introduced on September 5, 1789, and then three quarters of the states ratified this as well as 9 other amendments on December 15, 1791. It prohibits, in peacetime, the quartering of...

 has not been applied to the states by the Supreme Court, the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is one of the thirteen United States Courts of Appeals...

 ruled that it did apply to the states within that circuit's jurisdiction in Engblom v. Carey
Engblom v. Carey
Engblom v. Carey, 677 F.2d 957 , was a court case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It is the only significant court decision based on a direct challenge under the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution.-The case:The case was initiated by a 1979 strike...

. The Seventh Amendment
Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights, codifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases. However, in some civil cases, the Supreme Court has not incorporated the right to a jury trial to the states in the fashion which...

 has been held not to be applicable to the states.

Apportionment of Representatives


Section 2 altered the way how much representation each state receives in the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 is determined
Apportionment (politics)
Apportionment is the process of allocating political power among a set of principles . In most representative governments, political power has most recently been apportioned among constituencies based on population, but there is a long history of different approaches.The United States Constitution,...

. It counts all residents for apportionment, overriding Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, which counted only three-fifths
Three-fifths compromise
The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves would be counted for representation purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the...

 of each state's slave population.

Section 2 also reduces a state's apportionment if it wrongfully denies any adult male's right to vote, while explicitly permitting felony disenfranchisement
Felony disenfranchisement
Felony disenfranchisement is the term used to describe the practice of prohibiting people from voting based on the fact that they have been convicted of a felony or other criminal offence...

. However, this provision was never enforced while the southern states continued to use various pretexts to prevent many blacks from voting right up until the passage of Voting Rights Act
Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S....

 in 1965.

Some have argued that Section 2 was implicitly repealed by the Fifteenth Amendment
Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude"...

, but the Supreme Court has acknowledged the provisions of Section 2 in recent times. For example, in Richardson v. Ramirez
Richardson v. Ramirez
Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24 , held that convicted felons could be barred from voting without violating the Fourteenth Amendment.-Facts:...

, the Court cited Section 2 as justification for the states disenfranchising felons. In his dissent, Justice Marshall
Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991...

 explained the history of the Section 2 in relation to the Post-Civil War Reconstruction era:

Participants in rebellion


Section 3 prohibits the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion or treason. However, a two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress can override this limitation. In 1898, the Congress enacted a general removal of Section 3's limitation.

In 1975, Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

's citizenship was restored by a joint congressional resolution, retroactive to June 13, 1865. In 1978, pursuant to Section 3, the Congress posthumously removed the service ban from Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

.

Validity of public debt


Section 4 confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt
United States public debt
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies...

 appropriated by the Congress. It also confirmed that neither the United States nor any state would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. For example, several English and French banks had lent money to the South during the war. In Perry v. United States
Gold Clause Cases
The Gold Clause Cases were a series of actions brought before the Supreme Court of the United States, in which the court narrowly upheld restrictions on the ownership of gold implemented by the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to fight the Great Depression. The cases...

 (1935), the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ruled that under Section 4 voiding a United States government bond "went beyond the congressional power."

The United States debt-ceiling crisis
United States debt-ceiling crisis
The United States debt-ceiling crisis was a financial crisis in 2011 that started as a debate in the United States Congress about increasing the debt ceiling. The immediate crisis ended when a complex deal was reached that raised the debt ceiling and reduced future government spending...

 in 2011 raised the question of what powers Section 4 gives to the President. Legal analyst Jeffrey Rosen
Jeffrey Rosen
Jeffrey Rosen is an American academic and commentator on legal affairs. Legal historian David Garrow has called him "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator."-Biography:...

 has argued that Section 4 gives the President unilateral authority to raise or ignore the national debt ceiling
United States public debt
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies...

, and that if challenged the Supreme Court would likely rule in favor of expanded executive power or dismiss the case altogether for lack of standing
Standing (law)
In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case...

. Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky is an American lawyer and law professor. He is a prominent scholar in United States constitutional law and federal civil procedure...

, professor and dean at University of California, Irvine School of Law
University of California, Irvine School of Law
The University of California, Irvine School of Law is the law school at the University of California, Irvine . It is the fifth law school in the UC system and the first public law school to open in California in 40 years...

, has argued that not even in a "dire financial emergency" could the President raise the debt ceiling as "there is no reasonable way to interpret the Constitution that [allows him to do so]". The issue of what effect Section 4 has regarding the debt ceiling remains unsettled.

Power of enforcement


Section 5, the last section, was construed broadly by the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 in Katzenbach v. Morgan
Katzenbach v. Morgan
Katzenbach v. Morgan, 384 U.S. 641 , was a United States Supreme Court case regarding the power of Congress, pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, to enact laws which enforce and interpret provisions of the Constitution.- Facts :...

(1966). However, the Court, in City of Boerne v. Flores
City of Boerne v. Flores
City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 , was a Supreme Court case concerning the scope of Congress's enforcement power under the fifth section of the Fourteenth Amendment...

 (1997), said:

Proposal and ratification


The 39th United States Congress
39th United States Congress
The Thirty-ninth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1865 to March 4, 1867, during the first month of...

 proposed the Fourteenth Amendment on June 13, 1866.

Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment was bitterly contested: all the Southern state legislatures, with the exception of Tennessee, refused to ratify the amendment. This refusal led to the passage of the Reconstruction Acts. Ignoring the existing state governments, military government was imposed until new civil governments were established and the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.

By July 9, 1868, three-fourths of the states (28 of 37) ratified the amendment:
  1. Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

     (June 25, 1866)
  2. New Hampshire
    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

     (July 6, 1866)
  3. Tennessee
    Tennessee
    Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

     (July 19, 1866)
  4. New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     (September 11, 1866)*
  5. Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

     (September 19, 1866)
  6. Vermont
    Vermont
    Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

     (October 30, 1866)
  7. Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

     (January 4, 1867)*
  8. New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

     (January 10, 1867)
  9. Kansas
    Kansas
    Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

     (January 11, 1867)
  10. Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

     (January 15, 1867)
  11. West Virginia
    West Virginia
    West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

     (January 16, 1867)
  12. Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

     (January 16, 1867)
  13. Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

     (January 16, 1867)
  14. Maine
    Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

     (January 19, 1867)
  15. Nevada
    Nevada
    Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

     (January 22, 1867)
  16. Indiana
    Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

     (January 23, 1867)
  17. Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

     (January 25, 1867)
  18. Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

     (February 7, 1867)
  19. Wisconsin
    Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

     (February 7, 1867)
  20. Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     (February 12, 1867)
  21. Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

     (March 20, 1867)
  22. Nebraska
    Nebraska
    Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

     (June 15, 1867)
  23. Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

     (March 16, 1868)
  24. Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

     (April 6, 1868, after having rejected it on December 17, 1866)
  25. Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

     (June 9, 1868, after having rejected it on December 6, 1866)
  26. North Carolina
    North Carolina
    North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

     (July 4, 1868, after having rejected it on December 14, 1866)
  27. Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

     (July 9, 1868, after having rejected it on February 6, 1867)
  28. South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

     (July 9, 1868, after having rejected it on December 20, 1866)


*Ohio passed a resolution that purported to withdraw its ratification on January 15, 1868. The New Jersey legislature also tried to rescind its ratification on February 20, 1868, citing procedural problems with the amendment's congressional passage, including that specific states were unlawfully denied representation in the House and the Senate at the time. The New Jersey governor had vetoed his state's withdrawal on March 5, and the legislature overrode the veto on March 24.

On July 20, 1868, Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 William H. Seward
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward, Sr. was the 12th Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

 certified that the amendment had become part of the Constitution if the rescissions were ineffective, and presuming also that the later ratifications by states whose governments had been reconstituted superseded the initial rejection of the prior state legislatures.

The Congress responded on the following day, declaring that the amendment was part of the Constitution and ordering Seward to promulgate
Promulgation
Promulgation is the act of formally proclaiming or declaring a new statutory or administrative law after its enactment. In some jurisdictions this additional step is necessary before the law can take effect....

 the amendment.

Meanwhile, two additional states had ratified the amendment:
  1. Alabama
    Alabama
    Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

     (July 13, 1868, the date the ratification was "approved" by the governor)
  2. Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

     (July 21, 1868, after having rejected it on November 9, 1866)


Thus, on July 28, Seward was able to certify unconditionally that the amendment was part of the Constitution without having to endorse the Congress's assertion that the withdrawals were ineffective.

There were additional ratifications and rescissions; by 2003, the amendment had been ratified by all of the 37 states that were in the Union in 1868:
  1. Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     (October 8, 1869, after having rejected it on January 9, 1867)
  2. Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

     (January 17, 1870, after having rejected it on January 31, 1868)
  3. Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

     (February 18, 1870, after having rejected it on October 27, 1866)
  4. Delaware
    Delaware
    Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

     (February 12, 1901, after having rejected it on February 7, 1867)
  5. Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

     (1959, after having rejected it on March 23, 1867)
  6. California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

     (1959)
  7. Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

     (1973, after withdrawing it on October 15, 1868)
  8. Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

     (1976, after having rejected it on January 8, 1867)
  9. New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     (2003, after having rescinded on February 20, 1868)
  10. Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

     (2003, after having rescinded on January 15, 1868)

Citizenship


  • 1884: Elk v. Wilkins
    Elk v. Wilkins
    Elk v. Wilkins, , was a United States Supreme Court case.John Elk, a Native American was born on an Indian reservation and subsequently moved to non-reservation U.S. territory, Omaha, Nebraska, where he renounced his former tribal allegiance and claimed citizenship by virtue of the Citizenship Clause...

  • 1898: United States v. Wong Kim Ark
    United States v. Wong Kim Ark
    United States v. Wong Kim Ark, , was a United States Supreme Court decision that set an important legal precedent about the role of jus soli as a factor in determining a person's claim to United States citizenship...

  • 1967: Afroyim v. Rusk
    Afroyim v. Rusk
    Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 , was a United States Supreme Court decision that set an important legal precedent that a person born or naturalized in the United States cannot be deprived of his or her citizenship involuntarily. The U.S. government had attempted to revoke the citizenship of a man...


  • 1980: Vance v. Terrazas
    Vance v. Terrazas
    Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 , was a United States Supreme Court decision that established that a United States citizen cannot have his or her citizenship taken away unless he or she has acted with an intent to give up that citizenship...

  • 1982: Plyler v. Doe
    Plyler v. Doe
    Plyler v. Doe, , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a state statute denying funding for education to illegal immigrants and simultaneously struck down a municipal school district's attempt to charge illegal immigrants an annual $1,000 tuition fee for each illegal...



Corporate personhood

  • 1886: Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad
    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad
    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with taxation of railroad properties...

  • 2010: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, , was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment prohibits government from censoring political broadcasts in candidate elections when those broadcasts are funded by corporations or unions...


Privileges or immunities


  • 1868: Crandall v. Nevada
    Crandall v. Nevada
    Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 was a U.S. Supreme Court case which established that a state cannot inhibit a person from leaving the state by taxing them. The opinion of the Court was written by Justice Miller. Chief Justice Chase and Justice Clifford concurred."But if the government has these...

  • 1873: Slaughter-House Cases
  • 1908: Twining v. New Jersey
    Twining v. New Jersey
    Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78 , presented an early standard of the Supreme Court's Incorporation Doctrine by establishing that while certain rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights might apply to the states under the 14th amendment's due process clause, the 5th amendment's right against...


  • 1920: United States v. Wheeler
    United States v. Wheeler
    United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 , is an 8-to-1 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States which held that the Constitution alone did not grant the federal government the power to prosecute kidnappers, and that only the states had the authority to punish a private citizen's unlawful...

  • 1948: Oyama v. California
    Oyama v. California
    Oyama v. State of California, , was a case in which the United States Supreme Court decided that specific provisions of the 1913 and 1920 California Alien Land Laws abridged the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to Fred Oyama, a citizen of the United States in whose name...

  • 1999: Saenz v. Roe
    Saenz v. Roe
    Sáenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States discussed whether there is a constitutional right to travel from one state to another.-Background:...



Procedural due process/Incorporation


  • 1833: Barron v. Baltimore
    Barron v. Baltimore
    Barron v. Mayor of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 established a precedent on whether the United States Bill of Rights could be applied to state governments.John Barron co-owned a profitable wharf in the Baltimore harbor...

  • 1873: Slaughter-House Cases
  • 1883: Civil Rights Cases
    Civil Rights Cases
    The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 , were a group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue for the United States Supreme Court to review...

  • 1884: Hurtado v. California
    Hurtado v. California
    Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516 , was a case decided on by the United States Supreme Court. The case helped define rules regarding the use of grand juries in indictments.- Facts of the case :...

  • 1897: Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad v. Chicago
  • 1900: Maxwell v. Dow
  • 1908: Twining v. New Jersey
    Twining v. New Jersey
    Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78 , presented an early standard of the Supreme Court's Incorporation Doctrine by establishing that while certain rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights might apply to the states under the 14th amendment's due process clause, the 5th amendment's right against...

  • 1925: Gitlow v. New York
    Gitlow v. New York
    Gitlow v. New York, , was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had extended the reach of certain provisions of the First Amendment—specifically the provisions protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the...

  • 1932: Powell v. Alabama
    Powell v. Alabama
    Powell v. Alabama was a United States Supreme Court decision which determined that in a capital trial, the defendant must be given access to counsel upon his or her own request as part of due process.-Background of the case:...

  • 1934: Snyder v. Massachusetts

  • 1937: Palko v. Connecticut
    Palko v. Connecticut
    Palko v. Connecticut, , was a United States Supreme Court case concerning the incorporation of the Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy.-Background:...

  • 1947: Adamson v. California
    Adamson v. California
    Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46 was a United States Supreme Court case regarding the incorporation of the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Its decision is part of a long line of cases that eventually led to the Selective Incorporation Doctrine.-Background:In Adamson v...

  • 1952: Rochin v. California
    Rochin v. California
    Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165 , was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that added behavior that "shocks the conscience" into tests of what violates due process...

  • 1961: Mapp v. Ohio
    Mapp v. Ohio
    Mapp v. Ohio, , was a landmark case in criminal procedure, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures," may not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as...

  • 1962: Robinson v. California
    Robinson v. California
    Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the use of civil imprisonment as punishment solely for the misdemeanor crime of addiction to a controlled substance was a violation of the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and...

  • 1963: Gideon v. Wainwright
    Gideon v. Wainwright
    Gideon v. Wainwright, , is a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history. In the case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own...

  • 1964: Malloy v. Hogan
    Malloy v. Hogan
    Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States deemed a defendant's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination was applicable within state courts as well as federal courts...

  • 1966: Miranda v. Arizona
    Miranda v. Arizona
    Miranda v. Arizona, , was a landmark 5–4 decision of the United States Supreme Court. The Court held that both inculpatory and exculpatory statements made in response to interrogation by a defendant in police custody will be admissible at trial only if the prosecution can show that the defendant...

  • 1967: Reitman v. Mulkey
    Reitman v. Mulkey
    Reitman v. Mulkey, 387 U.S. 369 , was a United States Supreme Court decision that set an important legal precedent that states could remove a constitutional amendment passed by initiative, if the proffered amendment "encouraged" racial discrimination.In 1964, pursuant to an initiative and...


  • 1968: Duncan v. Louisiana
    Duncan v. Louisiana
    Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 , was a significant United States Supreme Court decision which incorporated the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial and applied it to the states.-Background of the case:...

  • 1969: Benton v. Maryland
    Benton v. Maryland
    Benton v. Maryland, , is a Supreme Court of the United States decision concerning double jeopardy. Benton ruled that the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does apply to the states. In doing so, Benton expressly overruled Palko v. Connecticut, .-Facts of the case:John Dalmer Benton was...

  • 1970: Goldberg v. Kelly
    Goldberg v. Kelly
    Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 , is a case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires an evidentiary hearing before a recipient of certain government benefits can be deprived of such benefits...

  • 1972: Furman v. Georgia
    Furman v. Georgia
    Furman v. Georgia, was a United States Supreme Court decision that ruled on the requirement for a degree of consistency in the application of the death penalty. The case led to a de facto moratorium on capital punishment throughout the United States, which came to an end when Gregg v. Georgia was...

  • 1974: Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co.
  • 1974: Goss v. Lopez
    Goss v. Lopez
    Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 was a United States Supreme Court case that held that a public school must conduct a hearing before subjecting a student to suspension...

  • 1975: O'Connor v. Donaldson
    O'Connor v. Donaldson
    O'Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 , was a landmark decision in mental health law. The United States Supreme Court ruled that a state cannot constitutionally confine, without more, a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing...

  • 1976: Gregg v. Georgia
    Gregg v. Georgia
    Gregg v. Georgia, Proffitt v. Florida, Jurek v. Texas, Woodson v. North Carolina, and Roberts v. Louisiana, 428 U.S. 153 , reaffirmed the United States Supreme Court's acceptance of the use of the death penalty in the United States, upholding, in particular, the death sentence imposed on Troy Leon...

  • 2010: McDonald v. Chicago
    McDonald v. Chicago
    McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S.Ct. 3020 , was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that determined whether the Second Amendment applies to the individual states...



Substantive due process


  • 1876: Munn v. Illinois
    Munn v. Illinois
    Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113 , was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with corporate rates and agriculture. The Munn case allowed states to regulate certain businesses within their borders, including railroads, and is commonly regarded as a milestone in the growth of federal government...

  • 1887: Mugler v. Kansas
    Mugler v. Kansas
    Mugler v. Kansas, , was an important United States Supreme Court case in which the 8 to 1 majority opinion of Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan—and the lone, partial dissent by Associate Justice Stephen J. Field—laid the foundation for the U.S...

  • 1897: Allgeyer v. Louisiana
    Allgeyer v. Louisiana
    Allgeyer v. Louisiana, , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which a unanimous court struck down a Louisiana statute on grounds that it violated an individual's "liberty to contract." This was the first case in which the Supreme Court interpreted the word liberty in the Due Process...

  • 1905: Lochner v. New York
    Lochner v. New York
    Lochner vs. New York, , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that held a "liberty of contract" was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case involved a New York law that limited the number of hours that a baker could work each day to ten, and limited the...

  • 1908: Muller v. Oregon
    Muller v. Oregon
    Muller v. Oregon, , was a landmark decision in United States Supreme Court history, as it justifies both sex discrimination and usage of labor laws during the time period...

  • 1923: Adkins v. Children's Hospital
    Adkins v. Children's Hospital
    Adkins v. Children's Hospital, , is a Supreme Court opinion holding that federal minimum wage legislation for women was an unconstitutional infringement of liberty of contract, as protected by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment....

  • 1923: Meyer v. Nebraska
    Meyer v. Nebraska
    Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 , was a U.S. Supreme Court case that held that a 1919 Nebraska law restricting foreign-language education violated the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.-Context and legislation:...

  • 1925: Pierce v. Society of Sisters
    Pierce v. Society of Sisters
    Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, , was an early 20th century United States Supreme Court decision that significantly expanded coverage of the Due Process Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case has been cited as a precedent in...


  • 1934: Nebbia v. New York
    Nebbia v. New York
    Nebbia v. New York, 291 U.S. 502 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States determined whether the state of New York could regulate the price of milk for dairy farmers, dealers, and retailers....

  • 1937: West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish
    West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish
    West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, , was a decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of minimum wage legislation enacted by the State of Washington, overturning an earlier decision in Adkins v. Children's Hospital,...

  • 1965: Griswold v. Connecticut
    Griswold v. Connecticut
    Griswold v. Connecticut, , was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives...

  • 1973: Roe v. Wade
    Roe v. Wade
    Roe v. Wade, , was a controversial landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion,...

  • 1992: Planned Parenthood v. Casey
    Planned Parenthood v. Casey
    Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in which the constitutionality of several Pennsylvania state regulations regarding abortion were challenged...

  • 1996: BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore
    BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore
    BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559 , was a United States Supreme Court case limiting punitive damages under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.-Facts:...

  • 2003: Lawrence v. Texas
    Lawrence v. Texas
    Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by proxy, invalidated sodomy laws in the thirteen other states where they remained in existence, thereby making same-sex sexual activity legal in...



Equal protection


  • 1880: Strauder v. West Virginia
    Strauder v. West Virginia
    Strauder v. West Virginia, , was a United States Supreme Court case about racial discrimination.-Background:At the time, West Virginia excluded African-Americans from juries. Strauder was a Black man who, at trial, had been convicted of murder by an all-white jury...

  • 1886: Yick Wo v. Hopkins
    Yick Wo v. Hopkins
    Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 , was the first case where the United States Supreme Court ruled that a law that is race-neutral on its face, but is administered in a prejudicial manner, is an infringement of the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S...

  • 1896: Plessy v. Ferguson
    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the United States, upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in private businesses , under the doctrine of "separate but equal".The decision was handed...

  • 1908: Berea College v. Kentucky
    Berea College v. Kentucky
    Berea College v. Kentucky , was a significant case argued before the United States Supreme Court that upheld the rights of states to prohibit private educational institutions chartered as corporations from admitting both black and white students. Like the related Plessy v. Ferguson case, it was...

  • 1917: Buchanan v. Warley
    Buchanan v. Warley
    Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60 was a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision addressing civil government instituted racial segregation in residential areas. The Court held that a Louisville, Kentucky, city ordinance prohibiting the sale of real property to African Americans violated the...

  • 1942: Skinner v. Oklahoma
    Skinner v. Oklahoma
    Skinner v. State of Oklahoma, ex. rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 , was the United States Supreme Court ruling which held that compulsory sterilization could not be imposed as a punishment for a crime, on the grounds that the relevant Oklahoma law excluded white-collar crimes from carrying...

  • 1944: Korematsu v. United States
    Korematsu v. United States
    Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II....

  • 1948: Shelley v. Kraemer
    Shelley v. Kraemer
    Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 , is a United States Supreme Court case which held that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate.-Facts of the case:...

  • 1954: Hernandez v. Texas
    Hernandez v. Texas
    Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that decided that Mexican Americans and all other racial groups in the United States had equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution....

  • 1954: Brown v. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

  • 1962: Baker v. Carr
    Baker v. Carr
    Baker v. Carr, , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that retreated from the Court's political question doctrine, deciding that redistricting issues present justiciable questions, thus enabling federal courts to intervene in and to decide reapportionment cases...


  • 1967: Loving v. Virginia
    Loving v. Virginia
    Loving v. Virginia, , was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v...

  • 1971: Reed v. Reed
    Reed v. Reed
    Reed v. Reed, , was an Equal Protection case in the United States in which the Supreme Court ruled that the administrators of estates cannot be named in a way that discriminates between sexes. After the death of their adopted son, Sally and Cecil Reed sought to be named the administrator of their...

  • 1973: San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez
    San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez
    San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that a school-financing system based on local property taxes was not an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause...

  • 1976: Examining Board v. Flores de Otero
    Examining Board v. Flores de Otero
    Examining Board v. Flores de Otero, 426 U.S. 572 , was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated a state law that excluded aliens from the practice of civil engineering. The Court invalidated the law on the basis of equal protection using a strict scrutiny standard...

  • 1978: Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that ruled unconstitutional the admission process of the Medical School at the University of California at Davis, which set aside 16 of the 100 seats for African American...

  • 1982: Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan
    Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan
    Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718 was a case decided 5-4 by the Supreme Court of the United States. The court held that the single-sex admissions policy of the Mississippi University for Women violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United...

  • 1986: Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico
    Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico
    Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates, dba Condado Holiday Inn v. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico et al. was a 1986 appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States to determine whether Puerto Rico's Games of Chance Act of 1948 is in legal compliance with the United States Constitution, specifically as...

  • 1996: United States v. Virginia
    United States v. Virginia
    United States v. Virginia, , is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Virginia Military Institute's long-standing male-only admission policy in a 7-1 decision...

  • 1996: Romer v. Evans
    Romer v. Evans
    Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court case dealing with civil rights and state laws. It was the first Supreme Court case to deal with LGBT rights since Bowers v...

  • 2000: Bush v. Gore
    Bush v. Gore
    Bush v. Gore, , is the landmark United States Supreme Court decision on December 12, 2000, that effectively resolved the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush. Only eight days earlier, the United States Supreme Court had unanimously decided the closely related case of Bush v...



Power of enforcement


  • 1883: Civil Rights Cases
    Civil Rights Cases
    The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 , were a group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue for the United States Supreme Court to review...

  • 1966: Katzenbach v. Morgan
    Katzenbach v. Morgan
    Katzenbach v. Morgan, 384 U.S. 641 , was a United States Supreme Court case regarding the power of Congress, pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, to enact laws which enforce and interpret provisions of the Constitution.- Facts :...

  • 1997: City of Boerne v. Flores
    City of Boerne v. Flores
    City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 , was a Supreme Court case concerning the scope of Congress's enforcement power under the fifth section of the Fourteenth Amendment...

  • 1999: Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank
    Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank
    Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627 , was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States relating to the doctrine of sovereign immunity....

  • 2000: United States v. Morrison
    United States v. Morrison
    United States v. Morrison, is a United States Supreme Court decision which held that parts of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 were unconstitutional because they exceeded congressional power under the Commerce Clause and under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.-...


  • 2000: Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents
    Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents
    Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents, 528 U.S. 62 was a United States Supreme Court case that determined that the Congress's enforcement powers under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution did not extend to the abrogation of state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment where the...

  • 2001: Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett
    Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett
    Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett, 531 U.S. 356 , was a United States Supreme Court case about Congress's enforcement powers under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution...

  • 2003: Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs
    Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs
    Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, 538 U.S. 721 , was a United States Supreme Court case which held that the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was "narrowly targeted" at "sex-based overgeneralization" and was thus a "valid exercise of its power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth...

  • 2004: Tennessee v. Lane
    Tennessee v. Lane
    Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509 , was a case in the Supreme Court of the United States involving Congress's enforcement powers under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment....



Further reading

  • Nelson, William E. The Fourteenth Amendment: from political principle to judicial doctrine (Harvard University Press, 1988) online edition

External links

(PDF, providing text of amendment and dates of ratification)