Because of the upcoming assault on the Fourteenth Amendment about to be launched by right-wingers and Tea Baggers in the name of tightening up immigration enforcement against those brown people coming from Latin America, it is important to put both the Fourteenth Amendment and the Dred Scott case into context. Although with a few key strokes one can find the actual text of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, here it is.
Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is called the Citizenship Clause and it states: “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.”
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868 after the conclusion of the Civil War. It insured that the freedom of citizenship won with such enormous sacrifice was not undermined by the actions of former slave states. The Fourteenth Amendment was also a direct repudiation of the infamous Dred Scott case decided by the Supreme Court in 1857. (more…)