An Explainer on the 14th Amendment

  • The Citizenship Clause: Defined citizenship as all persons born or naturalized in the United States to include formerly enslaved people;
  • The Equal Protection Clause: Established the principle that individuals in similar situations shall be treated equally by the law. The clause was largely created to address states with Black Codes;
  • The Due Process Clause: Prohibited state and local governments from depriving persons life, liberty or property without a fair procedure;
  • Privileges or Immunities Clause: Prohibited state and local governments from making any law that would limit the privileges or immunities of any citizen;
  • Updated the formula for the reapportionment of Congressional seats so as not to count formerly enslaved people as three-fifths of a person, but did allow for disenfranchisement as a consequence of criminal conviction.
  • Prohibited any federal or state elected, civil, executive, legislative, judicial or military official or member from engaging or giving aid or comfort to insurrection or rebellion efforts
  • Provided Congress the power to remove person(s) with a two-thirds vote of each chamber
  • Established that the federal government may use funds to stop a revolt
  • Prohibited the federal and state governments from providing funds to help a rebellion
  • Established all bills, obligations, and claims against the federal and state governments incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion or in the loss or emancipation of enslaved people illegal and void.
  • Gave Congress the power to enforce provisions of the 14th Amendment

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store