Fourteenth Amendment

SECTION 1

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

  • “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” – If you are born within the 50 United States, or are sworn in as a naturalized citizens, are considered permanent and legal residents of the country.  This also means that regardless of which state you reside, you are always a legal U.S. citizen (naturalized or natural-born)
  • “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;” – No state may make any law affects citizenship or immunities of any U.S. citizen.
  • “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” – No citizen will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process, regardless of where they live.  Same applies for any legal protections.
  • This section is often referred to as the “anchor baby” part of 14A, since it would guarantee citizenship to any babies born to illegal immigrants sneaking over borders.  There is no requirement that the mother be a U.S. citizen.

SECTION 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

  • “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.” – Each state’s residents will have someone to call a representative.  This is where districting comes into play.
  • “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.” – Come voting time, if any men over the age of 21 are denied the right to vote because of serving abroad, having committed a crime, then the number of representatives at the time of voting is reduced.  Not the phrase “when the right to vote”.  This phrase does NOT imply a right to vote, the condition applies only when it’s time to vote, per state laws.
  • This section would also imply that you would need to be 21 to vote.

SECTION 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

  • To summarize:  If you have betrayed the nation, or aided the enemy, you are not eligible to hold a public office, in either the federal or state government.  Also applies when the person has violated either the state or federal constitution.
  • Congress may with a 2/3 vote of both House and Senate, override this section.  (Not sure why you’d want to)

SECTION 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

  • “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” – Authorizes a national debt for the purposes of fighting war and defending the nation.
  • “But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.” – If such debt was as part of a rebellion or uprising (think Civil War), it’ll be considered illegal and void.  If slavery was still legal – claiming any losses as a result of involuntary work performed, would be illegal.

SECTION 5.

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

  • Congress can pass legislation to enforce any section of this article at their discretion.

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