Bill of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment

Provides three important constitutional rights.



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The Bill of Rights has guaranteed our freedoms and rights for over 200 years. In this regular series, Dean Leonard Baynes with the University of Houston Law Center looks at how they relate to society today.

“The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, provides three important constitutional rights: citizenship, due process and equal protection.”

“First, the amendment granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States, overruling the 1858 supreme court decision denying citizenship to African Americans.”

“Second, the amendment limited a state's power to deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

“Third, the amendment prohibited denying any person within its jurisdiction equal protection and has been applied to voting rights, school integration, immigrant rights and equal opportunities for women and underrepresented groups.”

“The 14th Amendment is among the most litigated and contested amendments in the U.S. Constitution.”

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