Text and History Narratives

The Shield of National Protection: The Text & History of Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment

The Shield tells how the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment gave Congress the lead role in enforcing the Constitution’s new guarantees of liberty and equality, only to have this explicit grant of power decimated by a hostile Supreme Court. The modern Supreme Court has made matters even worse, treating these older cases as super-precedents while inventing new restrictions on Congress’ ability to ensure state officials obey Fourteenth Amendment rights. The report argues that the Supreme Court should reconsider these errors, and restore the shield of national protection to its intended stature.

Summary

In June 2009, CAC released The Shield of National Protection: The Text and History of Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the second in CAC’s Text and History Narrative Series and the follow-up to The Gem of the Constitution, our report on the Privileges or Immunities Clause.

The Shield tells how the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment gave Congress the lead role in enforcing the Constitution’s new guarantees of liberty and equality, only to have this explicit grant of power decimated by a hostile Supreme Court. The modern Supreme Court has made matters even worse, treating these older cases as super-precedents while inventing new restrictions on Congress’ ability to ensure state officials obey Fourteenth Amendment rights. The report argues that the Supreme Court should reconsider these errors, and restore the shield of national protection to its intended stature.

More from Civil and Human Rights

Civil and Human Rights
May 27, 2020

#PurpleChairChat Episode 4: Free Speech and Equality in the Digital Age

By: David H. Gans, Praveen Fernandes
Civil and Human Rights
May 21, 2020

RELEASE: NEW ISSUE BRIEF: Speech and Its Relationship to Equality: Constitutional Values in the Digital Age

“When confronting lies, hate, and harmful propaganda online—which we can expect to reach a fever...
By: David H. Gans
Civil and Human Rights
May 21, 2020

ISSUE BRIEF: Speech and Its Relationship to Equality: Constitutional Values in the Digital Age

Understanding the constitutional duty to strike a balance between speech and equality can help inform...
By: David H. Gans
Civil and Human Rights
April 8, 2020

The Contraceptive Mandate Returns to the Court for a Third Time

Since President Trump entered office, his Administration has relentlessly sought to undermine the Patient Protection...
By: Rebecca Damante
Civil and Human Rights
U.S. Supreme Court

Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania; Donald J. Trump v. Pennsylvania

In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court is considering whether agency rules, which provide an unconditional religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement to not-for-profit,...
Civil and Human Rights
February 29, 2020

Justices to hear first major abortion case of Trump era

The Hill
Measures like Louisiana’s are simply “arbitrary ways to make it harder for patients to obtain...
By: David H. Gans, By John Kruzel