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"If Congress can legislatively override the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, (which I never asked them to do) then what will they do next for my 'benefit'?" - Tim Callison read more

Excerpts from the U.S. Constitution

  • Constitution Society see secondary window
  • Article VI Section 2

      Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States to be Supreme
        "This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution of laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

    Article XIII, Section 1 (December 6, 1865)

      Slavery prohibited
        "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United states, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

    Article XIV, Section 1 (July 9, 1868)

      Citizenship defined; privileges of citizens;
        "*** 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 the due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    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):

      "*** It has been frequently held that this includes aliens."

    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):

      "*** General policy that all persons lawfully in this country shall abide `in any State` on an equality of legal privilege with all citizens under non-discriminatory laws."

    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):

      "*** Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a `person` in any ordinary sense of that term. Aliens whose presence in this country is unlawful, have long been recognized as `persons` guaranteed due process os law by Fifth and Fourteen Amendments. We have clearly held that the Fifth Amendment protects aliens whose presence in this country is unlawful from individous discrimination by Federal Government...*** Use of the phrase `within its jurisdiction` thus not detract from, but rather confirms, the understanding that the protection of the Fourteen Amendment extends to anyone, citizens or stranger, who is subject to the laws of a state, and reaches into every corner of a state's territory. ***"

  • Founding Documents of the United States
  • We The People
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