Purpose of the 14th Amendment

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 What Is Constitutional Law?

Constitutional law includes those rights and laws that originate from the United States Constitution. These laws embody the rules and regulations that govern the U.S. in addition to the rights of the individuals who reside in the country.

Constitutional laws regulate the federal, state, and local governments in the U.S. These laws provide guidelines and parameters for what the government is allowed to do and what it is not allowed to do.

Additionally, the Constitution provides the basic rights of its citizens. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, every state has its own constitution that governs the citizens who live in that state.

There are certain fundamental rights that are commonly associated with constitutional law, including:

  • Equal protection;
  • The right to bear arms;
  • Freedom of religion; and
  • The right to free speech.

The Supreme Court of the United States is the authority on all issues that are related to constitutional law. The only way to override a decision that was made by the U.S. Supreme Court is by a constitutional amendment that is approved by ¾ of the states.

A constitutional lawyer is an attorney who assists clients by defending the U.S. Constitution as well as the rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to U.S. citizens. Constitutional lawyers play an important role in protecting the freedoms within the United States in addition to the rights and freedoms that are promised to citizens in the Constitution.

Constitutional laws are the supreme laws in the United States. Any after rules or laws that are created by a state or by Congress are not allowed to violate the Constitution.

In the United States, constitutional laws are supreme laws. Any other laws or rules that are created by Congress or a state cannot violate the Constitution.

Constitutional lawyers can support plaintiffs in litigation if a plaintiff believes that their constitutional rights have been violated.

What Is the Purpose of the 14th Amendment?

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is an important part of constitutional law. This amendment includes constitutional rights that apply to each state regardless of state laws.

States are permitted to provide more protections than those provided in the 14 Amendment but they are not permitted to provide less. In general, the basis of many constitutional laws comes from concepts found in the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment was officially adopted on July 9, 1868. It was one of several amendments issued during the Reconstruction period.

It addressed the various equal protections and rights provided under constitutional laws. This amendment was mainly issued in response to the issues that remained after the Civil War ended.

This amendment has evolved over the years through scrutiny in court cases, including 14th Amendment lawsuits and legal processes. It is one the more litigated amendments to the Constitution.

This amendment applies especially to the actions of local and state officials.

What Is Covered in the 14th Amendment?

There is not one single main point of the 14th Amendment. Instead, it covers many topics in its many clauses, including:

  • U.S. citizenship, namely, birthright citizenship;
  • Privileges and immunities of citizens;
  • Due process measures, both substantive and procedural;
  • Equal protection under U.S. laws; and
  • Various other topics, for example, enforcement of laws and public debt.

The 14th Amendment outlines what it means to be a United States citizen as well as what types of protections come along with citizenship. The amendment outlines what a state official can and cannot do when dealing with United States citizens and various issues.

What Does “Due Process” Mean?

The due process clause is found in the 14th Amendment. The importance of the 14th Amendment is based partly on the importance of this issue.

This is one of the most focused-on issues in the entire amendment. There have been many landmark Supreme Court cases that dealt with the idea of due process, for example, Roe v. Wade.

Whenever a state or a state official seeks to impose a burden upon a citizen or their property, they are required to provide the individual with due process. There are two categories of due process, procedural and substantive.

Procedural due process means that the government is required to provide the individual with:

  • Notice;
  • An opportunity to participate in an oral hearing; and
  • The right to a decision in front of a neutral decision maker.

For example, if the government seeks to take a portion of a citizen’s land, it is required to provide procedural due process by providing notice and other measures prior to taking the land. Substantive due process involves the securing of the various fundamental rights provided in the Bill of Rights.

Violation of substantive or procedural due process rights may prevent the government from imposing the burden upon a citizen.

What if My Constitutional Rights Have Been Violated?

A violation of constitutional laws may, in some cases, affect many individuals. For example, if the government plans to implement a construction project that will affect private property, the due process clause of the 14th Amendment requires the government to provide the affected individuals with due process.

This includes conduct such as providing them notice of the project, as well as the right to a fair hearing before a neutral judge if requested, as noted above. Failing to follow these measures may result in consequences, for example, an invalidation of the proposed project.

It may also result in a damages award to the affected individuals, if the due process violation caused them to suffer losses. It is important to note that this will vary in each case and often requires extensive litigation to determine the actual penalties.

How Are 14th Amendment Disputes Resolved?

Lawsuits that involve the 14th Amendment often involve broad, comprehensive policies or rules that can affect entire sectors of a community. This means that lawsuits involving this amendment often result in overhauling or redoing company policies, handbooks, and other similar measures.

For example, in an employment discrimination case, the remedy may require an employer to rewrite their company hiring policies to reflect non-discriminatory hiring processes. A 14th Amendment lawsuit may also be filed as a class action lawsuit.

This can result in significant damages awards being issued to members of the class who are named in the lawsuit. For example, when the constitutional rights of an entire group in a community were violated.

Legal issues involving the 14th Amendment often require intervention from a government agency, especially in cases involving issues of equal protection and anti-discrimination. In many cases, an individual is required to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency prior to being permitted to file a lawsuit.

For example, in a discrimination case, the individual is required to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In some situations, a lawsuit may only be filed after a government agency conducts an investigation and does not resolve the issue.

In some instances, a waiver may be provided allowing the individual to file a lawsuit prior to filing with an agency.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with 14th Amendment Rights?

The 14th Amendment may present complex legal issues and concepts. The scope of this amendment is also very broad and governs many basic constitutional rights for citizens.

If you believe that your constitutional rights have been violated, it is important to consult with a government lawyer. Your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit and represent you during any court proceedings.

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