School Papers

Thu that he was not a citizen since


30th, 2018

9:30 a.m. FZF class

Z. Wilhide

The Fourteenth Amendment of the US

On July 28th, 1968, the Fourteenth
Amendment was ratified and incorporated into the Constitution if the United
States Constitution. It is an advancement of the Thirteenth Amendment that only
abolished slavery and forceful service. The Fourteenth Amendment is constituted
by the concepts of citizenship, Due Process Clause, Immunity Clause Privileges
and Equal Protection Clause (Quffa 146). 
The major cause that led to the inclusion of the Amendment into the constitution
was the outright violence directed at the Black Americans especially in the
Southern State region that widely practiced slavery. After the Civil War had
ended in America, the former slaves were denied basic human rights such as the
right to life, property and due process that were enjoyed by the whites. In
addition, the need to have lawbreakers and accused persons are given an
opportunity to be heard before they are handed a judgment for their wrongdoings
(Lash & Gura 112). This rose amid widespread claims that African Americans
were greatly persecuted unfairly and handed very heavy penalties that hugely
exceeded their violations. Also, the need to ensure that the Civil Rights Act
Passed in 1866 is upheld made the 14th Amendment very necessary.

Nevertheless, the Fourteenth Amendment is
one of the most controversial Amendments incorporated into the United States
Constitution. The controversy created is largely attributed to the three main
clauses in the 14th Amendment: Citizenship, Due process Clause, and the Equal
Protection Clause (Mason & Stephenson 29). There are number US Supreme
Cases that touch on the two clauses of the Amendment. One of the most
controversial decisions ever made by the Supreme Court was in the case of Dred
Scott v. Sandford. Scott had sought to defend himself that claiming he had a
right before the federal courts as an American citizen. When delivering its
ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that he was not a citizen since his ancestors
had not been born in the United States. The decision was later overturned with
the passing of the 14th Amendment.  In
the case of Elk v. Wilkins where Elk a Native American applied for American
citizenship, the Supreme Court ruled that the controversial fourteenth
Amendment did not include Native American Citizenship. This controversy created
by the Amendment was overcome through the passing of the Indian Citizenship Act
of 1924 by the American Congress that granted citizenship to the Native
Americans. The Amendment ignored the fact that Native Americans had been in the
United States than even Europeans. Another controversy was created by section 3
of the 14th Amendment that prohibited the election or appointment of an
individual previously involved in rebellion or treason from being elected to
state or federal office (Lash & Gura, 130). This controversy is overcome
that if two-thirds of the Congress votes in favor of that individual to be
elected to office, then he/she will be free to be appointed or elected.

The major landmark aftermath of the
Fourteenth Amendment was second look it provided in looking at social
injustices in the United States such as segregation and election
discrimination. The Supreme Court of the United States when hearing and
determining the case of Brown v. Board of Education gave segregation a second
in-depth look.  The Court ruled that the
‘equal” separate educational facilities were intrinsically unequal and
despoiled the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment (Quffa, 146).  Also, the previous election discrimination
where to be an eligible voter in the United States, one had to attain a certain
level of education was removed. The Due Process Clause extends to prevent any
infringement against an individual central choice pertaining to individual
dignity and autonomy and allow everyone to enjoy the due process of the law. In
that regard also, the Equal Protection Clause makes sure that all citizens
receive the same protection under the law irrespective of issues such as
religious beliefs and sexuality. The Fourteenth Amendment did serve to meet many
various societal needs in the United States. First, the Black Americans that
had either been naturalized to be American citizens or born in America were
given the same recognition by law as any white citizen born in the United

In that regard also, nobody could deny a
person a right to life and property based solely on color or race. Contrary to
the Thirteenth Amendment that counted freed slaves as three-fifths of a person,
the Fourteenth Amendment counted them person and this vital in restoring
dignity by changing the view of slaves being perceived as slaves. Secondly, the
immunity clause brought equality; the African Americans would now enjoy the
same protection enjoyed the whites within the residence state’s jurisdiction
(Mason & Stephenson 46). The law was made to cut in equal measure through
all the races without favor or discrimination. 
The Due Process of the law was equally an important societal benefit as
all the lawbreakers and accused persons would now enjoy a fair trial with an
equal chance of being heard as the accuser of the plaintiff. Notably, in the US
Supreme court case involving the case of Yaser Hamdi, a US citizen who fought
for the Taliban against the US army and yet he was US citizen was given a fair






Work Cited

Kurt T., and Alan Gura. Does the Fourteenth Amendment Protect Unenumerated Rights?
University of Chicago Law School, (2017): 102- 178

Alpheus Thomas, and Grier Stephenson. American constitutional law: introductory
essays and selected cases. Routledge, (2015): 25- 64

Wedad Andrada. “A review of the history of gender equality in the United
States of America.” Social Sciences and Education Research Review 3.2
(2016): 143-149.