The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was used in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. This amendment provides for equal protection of the laws for all persons, regardless of race.
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The Fourteenth Amendment
The amendment that was used in Brown vs Board of Education was the Fourteenth amendment. This amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to all persons “born or naturalized in the United States.” This amendment also guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.”
The History of the Fourteenth Amendment
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.
The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues raised by the Thirteenth Amendment (1865), which had abolished slavery. The amendment was bitterly contested by Democrats—the majority of whom were white Southerners—and ratified over their objections.
The amendment became particularly important during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, when it was used to strike down racial segregation laws in a series of United States Supreme Court decisions. The amendment is also notable for its role in the debate surrounding abortion.
The Fourteenth Amendment includes several clauses: the Citizenship Clause, Privileges or Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause, Equal Protection Clause, and Apportionment Clause. These clauses have been used by courts to make a wide variety of decisions, including decisions concerning race, gender, reproductive rights, voting rights, and privacy rights.
The Significance of the Fourteenth Amendment
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was proposed on June 13, 1866, by the Thirty-ninth Congress and ratified on July 9, 1868. It was primarily intended to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of former slaves. It also includes the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. Interestingly enough, these two clauses would later be used in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated public schools.
The Significance of Brown vs Board of Education
The amendment used in Brown vs Board of Education was the Equal Protection Clause. This clause is found in the 14th amendment and it states that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This case was significant because it overturned the previous case of Plessy vs Ferguson.
The Impact of Brown vs Board of Education
The 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education is widely regarded as one of the most significant events in the history of the United States. The case invalidated state laws that had established separate public schools for black and white students, ruling that such laws violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the years since the decision was handed down, it has come to be seen as a landmark moment in the struggle for racial equality and civil rights.
The Legacy of Brown vs Board of Education
Sixty years ago, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The Court’s unanimous (9-0) decision stated that “separate but equal” public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional—a major victory for the American civil rights movement.
The heart of the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished slavery reads, “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….” In other words, once freed from slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment, blacks were supposed to be equal citizens under the law—including in education.
In actuality however, separate but equal arrangements for blacks persisted throughout America long after the Civil War ended in 1865 and the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in 1865. Thus “separate but equal” became the law of the land regarding public education until 1954.
With its decision in Brown v. Board of Education,the Supreme Court ushered in a new era of constitutional jurisprudence—one that recognized racial discrimination as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868).