14th Amendment of the United States Constitution was first introduced by Congress in 1866, and ratified in 1868. This amendment protects citizens from state infringement on their civil rights, playing a major role in our nation’s civil rights history. Here are the top 10 secrets about the 14th Amendment:
1. The amendment was intended to protect African Americans from being denied their civil rights. It was proposed following the Civil War and adopted after passage of the Reconstruction Acts that granted African Americans citizenship, voting rights, and other essential protections.
2. The 14th Amendment is responsible for extending the Bill of Rights to both state and federal governments. This means that states cannot deny citizens their rights as defined by the Bill of Rights, such as free speech, religious liberty, and due process.
3. The 14th Amendment was used to establish the principle of equal protection under the law for all citizens. This means that a state cannot treat one group of people differently than another when it comes to civil rights.
4. The amendment also contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, which prohibits states from establishing laws that deny citizens their fundamental rights, such as the right to travel and pursue one’s livelihood.
5. The 14th Amendment also established a citizenship clause, which effectively overturned the Dred Scott Supreme Court ruling—one of the most infamous rulings in our nation’s history.
6. The 14th Amendment has also been used to reaffirm the right of women to vote and ensure that all citizens can enjoy the same voting rights regardless of race, gender, or other factors.
7. The amendment was also the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade, both of which are essential to protecting our civil rights today.
8. The 14th Amendment has also been used to protect citizens from excessive bail and fines and guarantee due process during criminal proceedings, making it an important safeguard for citizens facing criminal charges.
9. The amendment was also the basis for modern interpretations of the right to privacy, as well as laws protecting citizens from discrimination in public places.
10. Finally, the 14th Amendment has been cited in cases involving private companies, such as those that protect workers’ rights and safety on the job. Through these rulings, it has become an essential tool for protecting citizen’s rights in a wide range of situations.
As you can see, the 14th Amendment is an essential component of our nation’s civil rights history and continues to play a crucial role in protecting citizens today. Knowing these secrets can help us understand why it is such an important part of the Constitution and how we can use it to protect our rights.