Happy Birthday, Fourteenth Amendment!

On July 28, 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, granting citizenship to former slaves and protecting due process of law and equal protection of laws in the States, was ratified.

The Fourteenth Amendment contains a number of important concepts, most famously:  state action, privileges & immunities, citizenship, due process, and equal protection—all of which are contained in Section One.

However, the Fourteenth Amendment contains four other sections.  Section Two deals with the apportionment of representatives to Congress.  Section Three forbids anyone who participates in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from holding federal office.  Section Four addresses federal debt and repudiates debts accrued by the Confederacy.  Section Five expressly authorizes Congress to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment “by appropriate legislation.” 

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