How has the 14th amendment changed American society over the last 50 years?

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Cj0317 Share
Dec 30, 2015

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Before the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights did not apply to the States, only to the Federal government.

Explanation:

The 14th Amendment has 5 sections. The first two sections deal with the civil rights of the citizens.

In the first section, 3 clauses greatly enhanced the civil rights of all citizen. Those clauses are privileges and immunities, due process, and equal protection. Prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment, these clauses, also listed in the 5th Amendment, only applied to the Federal government ( Barron v. Baltimore 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243 1833).

The writers of the 14th Amendment wanted to ensure that the States were held to the same standard as the Federal government when it came to the civil rights of its citizens. This amendment is cited in more litigation than any other amendment.
The struggle for civil rights, the suffrage movement, the Miranda warning, the second wave feminist movement (1970s), and labor rights all relied on the 14th Amendment to change laws in the U.S.

Section two changed the way that people were counted during the census. Each person was now counted as a whole person and superseded the clause in the Constitution where slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person. Congressional membership would change drastically now that every person was counted as one. Southern states would gain more representation within the House of Representatives changing the power dynamics between the states.

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