2003 September 17

Ohio Re-ratifies 14th Amendment

 

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, originally adopted July 9, 1868, guarantees that the states shall not deprive people of due process of law or equal protection under the law. In January 1868, the Ohio legislature voted to reverse its earlier decision to ratify the amendment. Despite the Ohio legislature’s action, the federal government continued to count Ohio as one of the three-fourths of the states required for the amendment’s final approval. Ohio finally ratified the Fourteenth Amendment a second time on this day. See March 18, 1976, the day in which Kentucky finally ratified the amendment for the first time, the last state to do so.

Through the process of selective incorporation, the Supreme Court has made protections in the Bill of Rights applicable to the states. See the pivotal Supreme Court decision on incorporation in Gitlow v. New York, on June 8, 1925. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is the cornerstone of the modern revolution in civil rights and civil liberties.

Follow a timeline of the ratification of constitutional amendments: http://www.lexisnexis.com/constitution/amendments_timeline.asp

Learn more: Michael Perry, We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court (1999)

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