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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Happy Birthday, 14th Amendment!

[O]f the cases in this Court in which the Fourteenth Amendment was applied during the first fifty years after its adoption, less than one-half of 1 per cent. invoked it in protection of the negro race, and more than 50 per cent. asked that its benefits be extended to corporations. 

 - Justice Hugo Black, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company v. Johnson (1938)

The Constitution Center has a nice little summary listicle post thingy:

On the 147th anniversary of the 14th Amendment, Constitution Daily looks at 10 historic Supreme Court cases about due process and equal protection under the law.

On July 9, 1868, Louisiana and South Carolina voted to ratify the amendment, after they had rejected it a year earlier. The votes made the 14th Amendment officially part of the Constitution. But in the ensuing years, the Supreme Court was slow to decide how the new (and old) rights guaranteed under the federal constitution applied to the states.

In the early Supreme Court decisions about the 14th Amendment, the Court often ruled in favor of limiting the incorporation of these rights on a state and local level. But starting in the 1920s, the Court embraced the application of due process and equal protection, despite state laws that conflicted with the 14th Amendment.

The requisite number of states having approved, it was officially declared part of the Constitution on July 28.  Or at least that's what the Germans would have us believe...


July 9, 2015 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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