The 14th Amendment has played a vital role in shaping our country’s legal system and protecting individual rights. Its five sections cover topics ranging from citizenship to the validity of public debt. So what exactly are the 5 sections of the 14th amendment?

Understanding the details can be essential to protecting your rights. Therefore it is important to know, or ask the question, what are the 5 sections of the 14th amendment? It can also be a powerful tool for fighting against discrimination and other injustices.

What Are the 5 Sections of the 14th Amendment?

Reading our article today will give you the noteworthy highlights of the 14th Amendment and its real-world implications. For instance: how the fourteenth amendment applies to police, and being able to tell if they have violated your rights. We will walk you through the 5 sections of the 14th amendment in a comprehensive and efficient manner. However, if you have any questions, or recognize your rights may have been violated, we recommend you complete our online form so we can connect you with an attorney.

Section 1

This section of the Fourteenth Amendment is perhaps the most well-known and consequential. It is a crucial legal foundation for protecting individual rights in the United States. In particular, it includes safeguards for the rights of citizenship, due process, and equal protection under the law.

One real-world circumstance where this section applies is discrimination against minority groups. Typically, it plays a role in education, housing, and employment issues.

For example, a public school system that segregates students would be a constitutional violation. Similarly, if a landlord discriminates against tenants based on race or ethnicity, this would also be unlawful.

Recently, advocates have invoked this section for immigration causes. For example, the Supreme Court has held that due process applies to undocumented immigrants. As a result, they have certain legal protections, such as the right to challenge their deportation. However, they possibly may have never realized this right without knowing what the 5 sections of the 14th amendment are.

Section 2

This section outlines the apportionment of representatives. Moreover, it establishes penalties for states that deny the right to vote. Specifically, its representation in Congress gets reduced proportionally. In essence, it ensures that states cannot disenfranchise citizens without consequence.

Hence, Section 2 applies in cases of voter suppression. In particular, it relates to efforts to limit access to voting based on race, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.

Consider a situation where a state imposes restrictive ID requirements or limits early voting. This action has the effect of disenfranchising minority voters and could be a violation of Section 2. Accordingly, a court may order the government to modify or abandon the legislation.

Section 2 has also become part of arguments about redistricting. In some cases, states have engaged in gerrymandering. If a court finds that a plan unfairly disadvantages voters, it could reduce the state’s representation in Congress.

Section 3

This section issues penalties on those who engage in rebellion or insurrection against the United States. It also applies to those who have given aid or comfort to its enemies. Consequently, this section stops anyone from holding office who broke their oath of office.

Initially, this provision prevented Confederate leaders and others from holding positions of power. It held considerable sway during Reconstruction and more recently applies to the January 6th insurrection. If a person convicted of participating in this event ran for public office, this section should stop them.

Section 3 has also applied to individuals who provided material support to terrorists. In such cases, those individuals cannot hold certain positions of authority or trust. For instance, they cannot serve in the military or work for the government.

Section 4

This section addresses the validity of the public deficit of the United States. It bars the federal government or state governments from rejecting their debts. Consequently, they cannot question the validity of what they owe. 

In some circumstances, a government entity may seek to default on its financial obligations. For example, a state government might refuse to pay its bondholders or seek to default on its pension obligations. In such circumstances, the courts may use Section 4 to ensure all parties receive what they deserve.

Section 4 has also been significant during debates over the debt ceiling. Some politicians have suggested that the United States should refuse to pay. However, this would violate the Constitution. This shows that the 14th amendment has implications regarding the world economy, hence why it is important to know what are the 5 sections of the 14th amendment.

Section 5

Section 5 gives Congress the power to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment through legislation. It authorizes Congress to pass laws to guarantee equal protection or due process.

For example, if a state passes a law that disenfranchises certain groups, Congress could pass laws to protect them. This legislation could include measures to eliminate discriminatory practices.

As a consequence, you may have heard of Section 5 housing. But other rules apply to employment discrimination and police brutality.

Notable examples include the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. These laws are critical protections for individuals against discrimination in various areas of life. They have caused significant progress in the fight for civil rights and equal treatment. You can also learn more about the 14th amendment, Supreme Court cases regarding it, and why they matter.

Talk to a Local Attorney About Your 14th Amendment Rights

Did you recognize similarities between your circumstances and the sections above? Do you feel confident that you know what the 5 sections of the 14th amendment are? Then you should consider a free, no-obligation consultation with a civil rights attorney. It is important to snuff out these issues, and hold others accountable, rather than exist under their pressure.

We have the resources to connect you with a civil rights lawyer anywhere in the United States. Get started today by completing our online form or calling (866) 345-6784!

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