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Vocapedia > USA > U.S. Constitution


Fourteenth Amendment    1868


Rights of citizens / equal protection of the laws


































































































Fourteenth Amendment

Rights of citizens / equal protection of the laws


"Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States,

and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,

are citizens of the United States

and of the state wherein they reside.


No state shall make or enforce any law

which shall abridge the privileges or immunities

of citizens of the United States;

nor shall any state

deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,

without due process of law;

nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction

the equal protection of the laws.



Section 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned

among the several states

according to their respective numbers,

counting the whole number of persons in each state,

excluding Indians not taxed.

But when the right to vote

at any election for the choice of electors

for President and Vice President of the United States,

Representatives in Congress,

the executive and judicial officers of a state,

or the members of the legislature thereof,

is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state,

being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States,

or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime,

the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion

which the number of such male citizens shall bea

to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age

in such state.



Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,

or elector of President and Vice President,

or hold any office, civil or military,

under the United States, or under any state,

who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress,

or as an officer of the United States,

or as a member of any state legislature

or as an executive or judicial officer of any state,

to support the Constitution of the United States,

shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same,

or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House,

remove such disability.



Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States,

authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties

for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay

any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection

or rebellion against the United States,

or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave;

but all such debts, obligations and claims

shall be held illegal and void.



Section 5.


The Congress shall have power to enforce

by appropriate legislation,

the provisions of this article."






The Fourteenth Amendment

addresses many aspects of citizenship

and the rights of citizens.


The most commonly used

-- and frequently litigated -- phrase

in the amendment

is "equal protection of the laws",

which figures prominently

in a wide variety of landmark cases,

including Brown v. Board of Education

(racial discrimination),

Roe v. Wade

(reproductive rights),

Bush v. Gor

(election recounts),

Reed v. Reed

(gender discrimination),

and University of California v. Bakke

(racial quotas in education).































story.php?storyId=129279863 - August 18, 2010


story.php?storyId=129201845 - August 14, 2010


story.php?storyId=129201841 - August 14, 2010


story.php?storyId=129007120 - August 5, 2010






 In 1917

the Supreme Court strikes down

a racial zoning law in Louisville, Ky.,

that prohibits nonwhites

from moving into homes

in majority-white areas


Laws like these, which existed

in numerous cities at the time,

are part of a larger,

shameful history

of government-sponsored

racial segregation.


In Buchanan v. Warley,

the court ruled that such ordinances

violate the 14th Amendment

and related statutes

that “entitle a colored man

to acquire property

without state legislation

discriminating against him

solely because of his color.”





245 U.S. 60

Buchanan v. Warley (No. 33)

Argued: April 10, 11, 1916

Decided: November 5, 1917

165 Kentucky, 559, reversed.














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