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The Power of the Fourteenth Amendment - Research Paper Example

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The Power of the Fourteenth Amendment Name: Institutional affiliation: The Power of the Fourteenth Amendment Introduction The fourteenth amendment of the constitution of the United States was adopted in 1868. This amendment was adopted as one of the reconstructive amendment…
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Download file to see previous pages The fourteenth amendment granted equal civil and legal rights as well as citizenship to the African Americans and the slaves of the American civil war. They were thus included in the phrase all persons born or naturalized in the United States had the right to be given American citizenship. The power of the fourteenth amendment is well expressed in its five sections: The section one argues that all individuals born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are United States citizens and citizens they live in according to Wagner (2000). It forbids the state from exercising a law that abridges the United States citizens’ privileges and immunities. According to this section, the state has no right to deprive individuals their property, life or liberty without following the legal process. It also ensures that any person within a state’s jurisdiction is equally protected. Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1971, the fourteenth amendment remains the most important amendment in protecting the rights of the individuals. The amendment was driven by the incidence of civil wars in the United States. Initially, this section only defined citizenship and offered protection to the civil and political rights of the individual hence less powerful. Its limitation was that the Africans could not possess United States citizenship and could not enjoy any citizenship privileges and immunities. ...
Under the initial constitution anyone regarded as a United States citizen was first to become a citizen of a certain state in the country. This could not apply to the emancipated citizens, the need of the clause to define citizenship. It meant that a United States’ citizen was also a citizen of a state he/she resided in. The power of the clause has been subjected to different interpretations. It author argued that it had similar content with the original one and it only varied in wording. According to Bosniak (2008), the meaning of this clause was tested in 1884 to establish whether a person born in the United States was automatically granted national citizenship. It was held by the Supreme Court that the Native Americans who left their tribes voluntarily could not automatically acquire national citizenship. The court also claimed that under this clause, a person born in the American soil to a Chinese citizen permanently leaving in US on business and not under official or diplomatic employment were guaranteed American citizenship. The same was also meant to apply to children who belonged to foreign national but not of Chinese descent. The power of this clause also maintains it that, children neither of United States citizens nor foreign diplomats, but born there were guaranteed citizenship after birth. However it was argued under this clause that, Children belonging to ambassadors as well as foreign ministers were excluded from citizenship. Loss of citizenship is another powerful clause section one of the fourteenth amendment. This clause gives two conditions under which individual can lose their citizenship. These conditions are Fraud in the process of naturalization ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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