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Article VI Section 2
Article XIII, Section 1 (December 6, 1865)
Article XIV, Section 1 (July 9, 1868)
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits a state from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. The laws of a state must treat any person in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. The equal protection clause is not intended to provide "equality" among individuals or classes but only the "equal application" of the laws. Therefore, the result of a law is not relevant as long as there is no discrimination in its application.
The Supreme Court and the federal judiciary may decide if a state has failed to apply it's laws equally. Generally, the question of whether the equal protection clause has been violated arises when a state grants or bars a particular class of individuals a certain right. There is no clear rule yet for deciding when a classification is unconstitutional.
Is the 14th amendment applicable to the federal government? If the federal government classifies individuals in a discriminatory manner, would it violate the due process of the fifth amendment?
Leading cases on the Constitution
Commentary of Fourteen amendment by Mr. Justice Hughes, at Traux v. Raich, 239 U.S.33; 36 S.Ct.7; 60L. Ed. 130 (1915):
Commentary of Fourteen amendment by Mr. Justice Black, at Takahashi v. Fish & Game Commission, 334 U.S. 410; 68 S.Ct. 1138; 92 L. Ed. 1478 (1948):
Commentary of Fourteen amendment by Mr. Justice Brennan, at Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. ; 72 L. Ed. 2d 786; 102 S.Ct 2382 (1982):
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