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Thread: Fourteenth Amendment

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage dv_dheeraj's Avatar
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    Fourteenth Amendment

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    The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1868, prohibits state governments from denying citizens the “equal protection of the laws.” Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction. This declaration, which was echoed in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, was designed primarily to counter the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people in the United States could be denied citizenship. The act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who argued that the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, did not provide Congress with the authority to extend citizenship and equal protection to the freed slaves. Although Congress promptly overrode Johnson’s veto, supporters of the act sought to ensure its constitutional foundations with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    The broad language of the amendment strongly suggests that its framers were proposing to write into the Constitution not a laundry list of specific civil rights but a principle of equal citizenship that forbids organized society from treating any individual as a member of an inferior class. Yet for the first eight decades of the amendment’s existence, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the amendment betrayed this ideal of equality. In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, for example, the Court invented the “state action” limitation, which asserts that “private” decisions by owners of public accommodations and other commercial businesses to segregate their facilities are insulated from the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
    After the Second World War, a judicial climate more hospitable to equal protection claims culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Two doctrines embraced by the Supreme Court during this period extended the amendment’s reach. First, the Court required especially strict scrutiny of legislation that employed a “suspect classification,” meaning discrimination against a group on grounds that could be construed as racial. This doctrine has broadened the application of the Fourteenth Amendment to other, nonracial forms of discrimination, for while some justices have refused to find any legislative classification other than race to be constitutionally disfavored, most have been receptive to arguments that at least some nonracial discriminations, sexual discrimination in particular, are “suspect” and deserve this heightened scrutiny by the courts. Second, the Court relaxed the state action limitation on the Fourteenth Amendment, bringing new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach.
    18. The passage suggests that the principal effect of the state action limitation was to
    (A) allow some discriminatory practices to continue unimpeded by the Fourteenth Amendment
    (B) influence the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v, Board of Education
    (C) provide expanded guidelines describing prohibited actions
    (D) prohibit states from enacting laws that violated the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
    (E) shift to state governments the responsibility for enforcement of laws prohibiting discriminatory practices
    19. The author’s position regarding the intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment would be most seriously undermined if which of the following were true?
    (A) The framers had anticipated state action limitations as they are described in the passage.
    (B) The framers had merely sought to prevent discriminatory acts by federal officials.
    (C) The framers were concerned that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 would be overturned by the Supreme Court.
    (D) The framers were aware that the phrase “equal protection of the laws” had broad implications.
    (E) The framers believed that racial as well as non-racial forms of discrimination were unacceptable.
    23. Which of the following can be inferred about the second of the two doctrines referred to in lines 39-41 of the passage?
    (A) It caused some justices to rule that all types of discrimination are prohibited by the Constitution.
    (B) It shifted the focus of the Supreme Court from racial to nonracial discrimination.
    (C) It narrowed the concern of the Supreme Court to legislation that employed a suspect classification.
    (D) It caused legislators who were writing new legislation to reject language that could be construed as permitting racial discrimination.
    (E) It made it more difficult for commercial businesses to practice racial discrimination.

  2. #2
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    tough one ... read it 4 times .
    Do not release the OAs quite soon. Lets have some discussion. Can you post your answers with explanations?

    18. A
    From the passage I understand that 14th amendment had some loopholes and because of that some discriminatory practices were still carried. Hence "state action limitation" was later (last para) relaxed.

    19 It's close between A and D, I choose A.
    Per passage , the author thought that the framers intentionally used the broad language, but framers intention was genuine and not corrupted while framing. So if option A is true, then it implies that framers intent was not genuine and somehow framers knew that the amendment can be cirumvented to continue discriminatory practices.

    23 A
    From the passage, before the doctrine#2:
    “private” decisions by owners of public accommodations and other commercial businesses to segregate their facilities are insulated from the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
    Per doctrine#2, the "the state action limitation" was relaxed to include private
    conduct. So I think A.

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    OAs for these?

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage dv_dheeraj's Avatar
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    I had picked
    CED for these
    the OAs are
    ABE

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    A, A, A

    Oa ?

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    i had picked A, B, E. not bad...i am extremely weak in RCs

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    Imo
    D
    E
    B

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    Aae

    A clearly holes are exploited
    A 14. amendment is a humane and sincere attempt for equal rights of US citizens
    E now it is harder to use holes in the text

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    Passage source?

    Quote Originally Posted by dv_dheeraj View Post
    The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1868, prohibits state governments from denying citizens the “equal protection of the laws.” Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction. This declaration, which was echoed in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, was designed primarily to counter the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people in the United States could be denied citizenship. The act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who argued that the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, did not provide Congress with the authority to extend citizenship and equal protection to the freed slaves. Although Congress promptly overrode Johnson’s veto, supporters of the act sought to ensure its constitutional foundations with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    The broad language of the amendment strongly suggests that its framers were proposing to write into the Constitution not a laundry list of specific civil rights but a principle of equal citizenship that forbids organized society from treating any individual as a member of an inferior class. Yet for the first eight decades of the amendment’s existence, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the amendment betrayed this ideal of equality. In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, for example, the Court invented the “state action” limitation, which asserts that “private” decisions by owners of public accommodations and other commercial businesses to segregate their facilities are insulated from the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
    After the Second World War, a judicial climate more hospitable to equal protection claims culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Two doctrines embraced by the Supreme Court during this period extended the amendment’s reach. First, the Court required especially strict scrutiny of legislation that employed a “suspect classification,” meaning discrimination against a group on grounds that could be construed as racial. This doctrine has broadened the application of the Fourteenth Amendment to other, nonracial forms of discrimination, for while some justices have refused to find any legislative classification other than race to be constitutionally disfavored, most have been receptive to arguments that at least some nonracial discriminations, sexual discrimination in particular, are “suspect” and deserve this heightened scrutiny by the courts. Second, the Court relaxed the state action limitation on the Fourteenth Amendment, bringing new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach.
    18. The passage suggests that the principal effect of the state action limitation was to
    (A) allow some discriminatory practices to continue unimpeded by the Fourteenth Amendment
    (B) influence the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v, Board of Education
    (C) provide expanded guidelines describing prohibited actions
    (D) prohibit states from enacting laws that violated the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
    (E) shift to state governments the responsibility for enforcement of laws prohibiting discriminatory practices
    19. The author’s position regarding the intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment would be most seriously undermined if which of the following were true?
    (A) The framers had anticipated state action limitations as they are described in the passage.
    (B) The framers had merely sought to prevent discriminatory acts by federal officials.
    (C) The framers were concerned that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 would be overturned by the Supreme Court.
    (D) The framers were aware that the phrase “equal protection of the laws” had broad implications.
    (E) The framers believed that racial as well as non-racial forms of discrimination were unacceptable.
    23. Which of the following can be inferred about the second of the two doctrines referred to in lines 39-41 of the passage?
    (A) It caused some justices to rule that all types of discrimination are prohibited by the Constitution.
    (B) It shifted the focus of the Supreme Court from racial to nonracial discrimination.
    (C) It narrowed the concern of the Supreme Court to legislation that employed a suspect classification.
    (D) It caused legislators who were writing new legislation to reject language that could be construed as permitting racial discrimination.
    (E) It made it more difficult for commercial businesses to practice racial discrimination.
    HI, from which source is this passage taken>(i meant is it from big buk/ princeton etc)

  10. #10
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    RC- fourteenth Amendment

    I think the order of the Ans of the above ques should be DCD!

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