April 01, 2015

The Fourteenth Amendment

Rebecca A. Taylor
From Civil Rights Litigation: Representing Plaintiffs Today, Chapter 5

The Fourteenth Amendment—Rights Guaranteed, Privileges and Immunities of Citizenship, Due Process, and Equal Protection


All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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 due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.1

Equal Protection

Equal protection is central to the civil rights battles of today, as it becomes increasingly clear that many citizens are denied rights that are routinely provided to others without question because of suppression and censorship initiatives, as well as unlawful discrimination. Just as certain protesters are being rampantly stripped of their equal protections under the First Amendment, others are being deprived of one of our most basic freedoms, components of happiness, and bundle of property rights and advantages on the basis of sexual orientation: the right to marry. And the struggle for equality in marriage is probably the most prominent of equal protection law today.


1. U.S. Const. amend. XIX, § 1.


Rebecca A. Taylor

Follow the author’s adventures in writing, the practice of law, and life at WritingandLaw on Twitter and Fascination Writing on Facebook. She is also the author of Foreclosure Defense: A Practical Litigation Guide (ABA, 2011).