14th Amendment - U.S. Constitution Page

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  • What is it about a United States citizen exercising their greatest Constitutionally mandated right that scares so many Republicans? It's a question that should bother everyone on both sides of the aisle because voting is not a Republican or Democratic right, but is a right for every legal citizen in this country.

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  • Six million disenfranchised citizens; voter identification laws that disproportionally affect minorities and the poor; moving polling stations, reducing early voting days, and canceling Sunday voting altogether. Welcome to the Jim Crow of the 21st Century. It's less sexy than the racist laws of the 20th Century, but it's just as dangerous.
14th Amendment Text
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 bear 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.
  • Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has no idea why the 14th Amendment happened. Huckabee told radio host Michael Medved that the Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which denied citizenship to black Americans, is still the "law of the land" — in an attempt to show that it's okay for people to ignore Supreme Court rulings (particularly the June marriage equality decision) that they disagree with. "Michael, the Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land, which says that black people aren't fully human," he said. "Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?"
  • For the past several years, the issue of birthright citizenship has slowly worked its way into the Republican agenda. Bills to end birthright citizenship for undocumented immigrants have routinely cropped up in Congress. So-called "anchor babies" have become a political target on the right. But now, thanks to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump's call to end birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, the issue is front and center, forcing the other 16 Republican candidates to make an uncomfortable choice: support rolling back the 14th Amendment, which granted equal rights to former slaves after the Civil War, or look weak on unauthorized immigration.
  • With the exception of the early 1960s, the right to vote in the United States is arguably more embattled today than at any time since Reconstruction. In a quick succession of rulings in October, voter-ID laws, residency requirements, and the curtailment of early voting hours and same-day registration were upheld or overturned in states across the country. The Supreme Court permitted restrictions in some states for the midterm elections and prohibited them in others, but it refused to rule on the merits of the laws. Amid the turmoil, voting-rights advocates cheered every small victory, however local or tenuous, and rued the many losses. The movement is still staggering from the body blow of Shelby County v.
  • For the fourth time in three months, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia helped forward marriage equality in a state that had banned it, with his work cited by the federal judge invalidating Virginia's ban on same-sex nuptials. Following her predecessors in Utah, Ohio and Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen name-checked Scalia and his dissent from last year's Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in her decision Thursday to overturn Virginia's ban on gay marriage.
  • A federal judge in Virginia has struck down the commonwealth's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, according to court documents. "These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution," U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote in her opinion.
  • A federal judge has struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling Friday saying Utah's law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples' rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
  • “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned,” reads the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The upcoming fight to raise the national debt ceiling has again pushed the clause into the spotlight. Here is some important recent history on the issue:1. In July 2011, former President...

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