POC Newsletter #17 - 14th Amendment, Section 1.
"Men must choose to be governed by God, or condemn themselves to be ruled by tyrants."
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government?] lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
James Madison said in Federalist No. 45:
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
Thomas Jefferson admonished Supreme Court Justice William Johnson:
"On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
James Madison also declared:
"I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful, exercise of its powers .... What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense." (emphasis added)
Justice James Wilson (one of only 6 who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and was the second most active member of the Constitutional Convention) similarly explained:
"The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it."
The above three quotes are from: Original Intent, David Barton, pg. 22
It is important to keep the above principles and admonitions in mind as we study the 14th Amendment.
The ACLU and other organizations, in partnership with the courts, have used the 14th Amendment as a club to take away state’s, local government’s, and citizen’s rights to acknowledge God and the Ten Commandments among other things.
It is important to understand the original purpose of the 14th Amendment.
World Book Encyclopedia explains the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment as follows:
"The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States forbids the states to deny any citizen the rights granted by federal law. It also defines how citizenship is acquired and declares that all citizens are entitled to equal protection of the law. The original purpose of the amendment was to provide citizenship for former slaves and give them full civil rights. Amendment 14 took effect on July 9, 1868."
World Book Encyclopedia
HarpWeek web site explains:
"The end of the Civil War in April 1865 brought defeat to the Confederacy, and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865 put an end to slavery in the United States. Serious questions remained, however, concerning the fate of former Confederates and the newly freed slaves in the restored Union. The Fourteenth Amendment[‘s] … creation took place within the context of concerns over the mistreatment of blacks in the South, the reelection of ex-Confederates to political office, and the struggle between President Andrew Johnson and Congress over the control and content of Reconstruction."
Based on: Harper’s Weekly, the leading American illustrated newspaper in the second-half of the nineteenth century.
It is critical that you keep the above stated purposes in mind as we study the designed purpose and effect of the 14th Amendment.