Edmund Jennings Randolph was an American attorney and politician. He was the seventh Governor of Virginia, as a delegate from Virginia, attended the Constitutional Convention, helping to create a national constitution, he was the second Secretary of State, the first United States Attorney General during George Washington's presidency. Randolph was born on August 10, 1753 to the influential Randolph family in Williamsburg in the Colony of Virginia, he was educated at the College of Mary. After graduation he began reading law with uncle, Peyton Randolph. In 1775, with the start of the American Revolution, Randolph's father remained a Loyalist and returned to Britain. Upon the death of his uncle Peyton Randolph in October 1775, Randolph returned to Virginia to act as executor of the estate, while there was elected as a representative to the Fourth Virginia Convention, he would go on to serve as mayor of Williamsburg, as the first Attorney General of the United States under the newly formed government.
He was married on August 29, 1776 to Elizabeth Nicholas, had a total of six children, including Peyton Randolph, Governor of Virginia from 1811 to 1812. Randolph was selected as one of eleven delegates to represent Virginia at the Continental Congress in 1779, served as a delegate through 1782. During this period he remained in private law practice, handling numerous legal issues for George Washington among others. Randolph was elected Governor of Virginia in 1786, that same year leading a delegation to the Annapolis Convention, he had taken on the young John Marshall as a student and law partner, transferred his lucrative law practice to Marshall when he became governor in 1786, since Virginia law forbade executive officers from private practice in its courts. The following year, as a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention, at age 34 Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan as an outline for a new national government, he argued against importation of slaves and in favor of a strong central government, advocating a plan for three chief executives from various parts of the country.
The Virginia Plan proposed a bicameral legislature, both houses of which comprising delegates chosen based on state population. Randolph additionally proposed, was supported by unanimous approval by the Convention's delegates, "that a Nationally Judiciary be established"; the Articles of Confederation lacked a national court system for the United States. Randolph was a member of the "Committee of Detail", tasked with converting the Virginia Plan's 15 resolutions into a first draft of the Constitution. Randolph refused to sign the final document, one of only three members who remained in the Constitutional Convention yet refused to sign. Randolph thought the final document lacked sufficient checks and balances, published an account of his objections in October 1787. Randolph had several objections to the Convention’s proposal, he thought the federal judiciary would pose a threat to state courts, he thought the Senate was too powerful and Congress’s power too broad. Randolph reversed his position at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788.
He chaired that nearly divided convention, Mason resented Randolph's change of position. Mason and other opponents demanded amendments prior to ratification. Randolph noted that he had seen several responses to the insistence that amendments were necessary before ratification; some thought the objection insubstantial. In common with other advocates of amending the Constitution prior to ratification, Randolph insisted that it would be easier to amend the Constitution before ratifying it, when a majority might do so, than to ratify an imperfect Constitution and assemble the votes of three-fourths of the states, he did not think it desirable that the people should become accustomed to altering their constitution with any regularity once it was adopted. The Governor had written, “If after our best efforts for amendments, they cannot be obtained, I will adopt the constitution as it is.” Randolph said he voted for ratification of the Constitution because by June 2 eight other states had done so, he did not want to see Virginia left out of the new national government.
Randolph believed that Virginia must choose between the stark alternatives of ratification and disunion. Randolph never doubted union's advantages. Historians have missed the signal importance of Randolph’s role in the Richmond Convention. In the Richmond Ratification Convention, it was Randolph who pointed the way to an understanding of ratification with which Virginia’s leaders could be satisfied, he assured his fellow members of the Virginia political elite that the Constitution they were being asked to ratify in the summer of 1788 would have limited significance--that what they would be entering was more a league of sovereign states than a consolidated union. Randolph wrote that of the ten delegates whose views had been unknown, five had been swayed to vote for ratification by his gambit. In the end, Virginia’s Federalists secured the Constitution’s ratification by five votes. Washington rewarded Randolph for his support. Randolph was appointed as the first U. S. Attorney General in September 1789, maintaining pre
The Reconstruction Amendments are the Thirteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, adopted between 1865 and 1870, the five years following the Civil War. The last time the Constitution had been amended was with the Twelfth Amendment more than 60 years earlier in 1804; the Reconstruction amendments were important in implementing the Reconstruction of the American South after the war. Their proponents saw them as transforming the United States from a country, "half slave and half free" to one in which the constitutionally guaranteed "blessings of liberty" would be extended to the entire populace, including the former slaves and their descendants; the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except for those duly convicted of a crime. The Fourteenth Amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws for all persons; the Fifteenth Amendment prohibits discrimination in voting rights of citizens on the basis of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
All races, regardless of prior slavery, could vote in some states of the early United States, such as New Jersey, provided that they could meet other requirements, such as property ownership. These amendments were intended to guarantee freedom to former slaves and to establish and prevent discrimination in certain civil rights to former slaves and all citizens of the United States; the promise of these amendments was eroded by state laws and federal court decisions over the course of the 19th century. In 1876 and some states passed Jim Crow laws that limited the rights of African-Americans. Important Supreme Court decisions that undermined these amendments were the Slaughter-House Cases in 1873, which prevented rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment's privileges or immunities clause from being extended to rights under state law; the full benefits of the Thirteenth and Fifteenth amendments were not realized until the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the U. S. Senate on April 8, 1864, after one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865; the measure was swiftly ratified by all but three Union states, by a sufficient number of border and "reconstructed" Southern states, to be ratified by December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed it to have been incorporated into the federal Constitution, it became part of the Constitution 61 years after the Twelfth Amendment, the longest interval between constitutional amendments to date. Slavery had been tacitly enshrined in the original Constitution through provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, which detailed how each state's total slave population would be factored into its total population count for the purposes of apportioning seats in the United States House of Representatives and direct taxes among the states.
Although many slaves had been declared free by Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their legal status after the Civil War was uncertain. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was proposed by Congress on June 13, 1866. By July 9, 1868, it had received ratifications by the legislatures of the required number of states in order to become the Fourteenth Amendment. On July 20, 1868, Secretary of State William Seward certified that it had been ratified and added to the federal Constitution; the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, was proposed in response to issues related to treatment of freedmen following the war. The amendment was bitterly contested by Southern states, which were forced to ratify it in order to return their delegations to Congress; the Fourteenth Amendment its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Roe v. Wade, regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore, regarding the 2000 presidential election.
The second and fourth sections of the amendment are if litigated. The fifth section gives Congress enforcement power; the amendment's first section includes several clauses: the Citizenship Clause, the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause. The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship, overruling the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which had held that Americans descended from Africans could not be citizens of the United States; the Privileges or Immunities Clause has been interpreted in such a way that it does little. While "Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment reduces congressional representation for states that deny suffrage on racial grounds," it was not enforced after southern states disfranchised blacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While Northern Congressmen in 1900 raised objections to the inequities of southern states being apportioned seats based on total populations when they excluded blacks, Southern Democratic Party representatives formed such a powerful block that opponents could not gain approval
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. The amendment was adopted on August 18, 1920 as the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the United States, which fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote, it overruled Minor v. Happersett, in which a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give women the right to vote. Since the 1860s, an increasing number of states had given women the right to vote, but several states still denied women the right to vote at the time the amendment was ratified; the Nineteenth Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent. Forty-one years in 1919, Congress submitted it to the states for ratification, it was ratified by three-fourths of the states a year with Tennessee's ratification being the last needed to add the amendment to the Constitution.
In Leser v. Garnett, the Supreme Court rejected claims that the amendment was unconstitutionally adopted; the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation; the United States Constitution, adopted in 1789, left the boundaries of suffrage undefined. The only directly elected body created by the original Constitution was the House of Representatives, for which voter qualifications were explicitly delegated to the individual states. At that time, all states denied voting rights to women. While scattered movements and organizations dedicated to women's rights existed the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention in New York is traditionally held as the start of the American women's rights movement. Suffrage was not a focus of the convention and its advancement was minimal in the decades preceding the Civil War. While suffrage bills were introduced into most state legislatures during this period, they were disregarded and few came to a vote.
The women's suffrage movement took hold during the Reconstruction era. During this period, women's rights leaders advocated for inclusion of universal suffrage as a civil right in the Reconstruction Amendments. Despite their efforts, these amendments did nothing to promote women's suffrage. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly discriminated between men and women by penalizing states who deprived adult male citizens of the vote, but not for denying the vote to adult female citizens. In Minor v. Happersett, 88 U. S. 162, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did not provide or protect a right to vote to women. Continued settlement of the western frontier, along with the establishment of territorial constitutions, allowed the issue to be raised continually at the state level. Through the activism of suffrage organizations and independent political parties, women's suffrage was established in the newly formed constitutions of Wyoming Territory and Washington Territory.
Existing state legislatures began to consider suffrage bills, several held voter referenda, but they were unsuccessful. Efforts at the national level persisted through a strategy of congressional testimony and lobbying. There were several attempts to amend the Constitution, prior to the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, to grant universal and limited suffrage to women. One of the attempts, the "Petition for Universal Suffrage", signed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, among others, called for a Constitutional amendment to "prohibit the several states from disenfranchising any of their citizens on the ground of sex" in 1865. In another attempt, an amendment proposed in the House of Representatives called for limited suffrage for women who were spinsters or widows and owned property in 1888. Two rival organizations, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association, were formed in 1869; the NWSA, led by suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.
Anthony, attempted several unsuccessful court challenges in the mid-1870s. Their legal case, known as the New Departure strategy, was that the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment together served to guarantee voting rights to women. Three Supreme Court decisions from 1873 to 1875 rejected this argument, so these groups shifted to advocating for a new constitutional amendment; the Nineteenth Amendment is identical to the Fifteenth Amendment, except that the Nineteenth prohibits the denial of suffrage because of sex and the Fifteenth because of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". Colloquially known as the "Anthony Amendment", it was first introduced in the Senate by Republican Senator Aaron A. Sargent of California. Sargent, who had met and befriended Anthony on a train ride in 1872, was a dedicated women's suffrage advocate, he had attempted to insert women's suffrage provisions into unrelated bills, but did not formally introduce a constitutional amendment until January 1878.
Stanton and other women testified before the Senate in support of the amendment. The proposal sat in a committee until it was considered by the full Senate and rejected in a 16 to 34 vote in 1887. A three-decade period known as "the doldrums" followed, during which the amendment was not considered by Congress and the women's suffrage movement achieved f
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method of curbing the potential for monopoly, where a leader becomes "president for life"; this is intended to protect a democracy from becoming a de facto dictatorship. Sometimes, there is an lifetime limit on the number of terms an officeholder may serve. Term limits have a long history. Ancient Athens and Ancient Rome, two early classic republics, had term limits imposed on their elected offices as did the city-state of Venice. In ancient Athenian democracy, only offices selected by sortition were subject to term limits. Elected offices were all subject to possible re-election, although they were minoritarian, these positions were more prestigious and those requiring the most experience, such as military generals and the superintendent of springs. In the Roman Republic, a law was passed imposing a limit of a single term on the office of censor.
The annual magistrates—tribune of the plebs, quaestor and consul—were forbidden reelection until a number of years had passed.. There was a term limit of 6 months for a dictator. Many modern presidential republics employ term limits for their highest offices; the United States placed a limit of two terms on its presidency by means of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1951. There are no term limits for Vice Presidency and Senators, although there have been calls for term limits for those offices. Under various state laws, some state governors and state legislators have term limits. Formal limits in America date back to the 1682 Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties, the colonial frame of government of the same year, authored by William Penn and providing for triennial rotation of the provincial council, the upper house of the colonial legislature.. The Russian Federation has a rule for the head of state that allows the President of Russia to serve more than two terms if not consecutive. For governors of federal subjects, the same two-term limit existed until 2004, but now there are no term limits for governors.
Term limits are common in Latin America, where most countries are presidential republics. Early in the last century, the Mexican revolutionary Francisco Madero popularized the slogan Sufragio Efectivo, no Reelección. In keeping with that principle, members of the Congress of Mexico cannot be reelected for the next immediate term under article 50 and 59 of the Constitution of Mexico, adopted in 1917; the President of Mexico is limited to a single six-year term. This makes every presidential election in Mexico a non-incumbent election. Countries that operate a parliamentary system of government are less to employ term limits on their leaders; this is because such leaders have a set "term" at all: rather, they serve as long as they have the confidence of the parliament, a period which could last for life. Many parliaments can be dissolved for snap elections which means some parliaments can last for mere months while others can continue until their expiration dates; such countries may impose term limits on the holders of other offices—in republics, for example, a ceremonial presidency may have a term limit if the office holds reserve powers.
Term limits may be divided into two broad categories: lifetime. With consecutive term limits, an officeholder is limited to serving a particular number of terms in that particular office. Upon hitting the limit in one office, an officeholder may not run for the same office again. After a set period of time, the clock resets on the limit, the officeholder may run for election to his/her original office and serve up to the limit again. With lifetime limits, once an officeholder has served up to the limit, he/she may never again run for election to that office. Lifetime limits are much more restrictive than consecutive limits. Term limits in the United States Term of office List of political term limits Reelection Real Term Limits: Now More Than Ever, an article by Doug Bandow in favor of term limits Legislative Term Limits: An Overview at the Library of Congress Web Archives, term limits information from the National Conference of State Legislatures
Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states. The amendment supersedes Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures, it alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. The amendment was proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and became part of the Constitution on April 8, 1913 on ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures. Sitting Senators were not affected by the Amendment's provisions until their existing terms expired, so the Amendment took six years to implement; the transition began with two special elections in 1913 and 1914 - the first in Maryland and the second in Alabama. The transition began in earnest with the November 1914 election, was complete on 4 March 1919 when the Senators chosen at the November 1918 election took office.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures; when vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. Under Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature elected its state's senators for a six-year term; each state, regardless of size, is entitled to two senators as part of the Connecticut Compromise between the small and large states.
This contrasted with the House of Representatives, a body elected by popular vote, was described as an uncontroversial decision. There were many advantages to the original method of electing senators. Prior to the Constitution, a federal body was one where states formed nothing more than permanent treaties, with citizens retaining their loyalty to their original state. However, under the new Constitution, the central government was granted more power than before. Additionally, the longer terms and avoidance of popular election turned the Senate into a body that could counter the populism of the House. While the Representatives operated in a two-year direct election cycle, making them accountable to their constituents, the senators could afford to "take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress". State legislatures retained the theoretical right to "instruct" their senators to vote for or against proposals, thus giving the states both direct and indirect representation in the federal government.
The Senate was part of a formal bicameralism, with the members of the Senate and House responsible to distinct constituencies. Members of the Constitutional Convention considered the Senate to be parallel to the British House of Lords as an "upper house", containing the "better men" of society, but improved upon as they would be conscientiously chosen by the upper houses of state republican legislatures for fixed terms, not inherited for life as in the British system, subject to a monarch's arbitrary expansion, it was hoped that they would provide abler deliberation and greater stability than the House of Representatives due to the senators' status. According to Judge Jay Bybee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, those in favor of popular elections for senators believed that two primary problems were caused by the original provisions: legislative corruption and electoral deadlocks. There was a sense that senatorial elections were "bought and sold", changing hands for favors and sums of money rather than because of the competence of the candidate.
Between 1857 and 1900, the Senate investigated three elections over corruption. In 1900, for example, William A. Clark had his election voided after the Senate concluded that he had bought votes in the Montana legislature, but analysts Bybee and Todd Zywicki believe this concern was unfounded. In more than a century of legislative elections of U. S. senators, only ten cases were contested for allegations of impropriety. Electoral deadlocks were another issue; because state legislatures were charged with deciding whom to appoint as senators, the system relied on their ability to agree. Some states could not, thus delayed sending representatives to Congress. Deadlocks started to become an issue in the 1850s, with a deadlocked Indiana legislature allowing a Senate seat to sit vacant for two years. Between 1891 and 1905, 46 elections were deadlocked across 20 states; the business of holding elections cause
Article Three of the United States Constitution
Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. Under Article Three, the judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as lower courts created by Congress. Article Three empowers the courts to handle cases or controversies arising under federal law, as well as other enumerated areas. Article Three defines treason. Section 1 of Article Three vests the judicial power of the United States in the Supreme Court, as well as inferior courts established by Congress. Along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Two, Article Three's Vesting Clause establishes the separation of powers between the three branches of government. Section 1 does not require it. Section 1 establishes that federal judges do not face term limits, that an individual judge's salary may not be decreased. Article Three does not set the size of the Supreme Court or establish specific positions on the court, but Article One establishes the position of chief justice.
Section 2 of Article Three delineates federal judicial power. The Case or Controversy Clause restricts the judiciary's power to actual cases and controversies, meaning that federal judicial power does not extend to cases which are hypothetical, or which are proscribed due to standing, mootness, or ripeness issues. Section 2 states that federal judiciary's power extends to cases arising under the Constitution, federal laws, federal treaties, controversies involving multiple states or foreign powers, other enumerated areas. Section 2 gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction when ambassadors, public officials, or the states are a party in the case, leaving the Supreme Court with appellate jurisdiction in all other areas to which the federal judiciary's jurisdiction extends. Section 2 gives Congress the power to strip the Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction, establishes that all federal crimes must be tried before a jury. Section 2 does not expressly grant the federal judiciary the power of judicial review, but the courts have exercised this power since the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison.
Section 3 of Article Three empowers Congress to punish treason. Section 3 requires that at least two witnesses testify to the treasonous act, or that the individual accused of treason confesses, it limits the ways in which Congress can punish those convicted of treason. Section 1 vests the judicial power of the United States in federal courts, requires a supreme court, allows inferior courts, requires good behavior tenure for judges, prohibits decreasing the salaries of judges; the judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. Article III authorizes one Supreme Court, but does not set the number of justices that must be appointed to it. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 refers to a Chief Justice.
Since 1869 the number of justices has been fixed at nine: one chief justice, eight associate justices. Proposals have been made at various times for organizing the Supreme Court into separate panels. However, in a 1937 letter, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote, "the Constitution does not appear to authorize two or more Supreme Courts functioning in effect as separate courts."The Supreme Court is the only federal court, explicitly established by the Constitution. During the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made for the Supreme Court to be the only federal court, having both original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction; this proposal was rejected in favor of the provision. Under this provision, the Congress may create inferior courts under both Article III, Section 1, Article I, Section 8; the Article III courts, which are known as "constitutional courts", were first created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, are the only courts with judicial power. Article I courts, which are known as "legislative courts", consist of regulatory agencies, such as the United States Tax Court.
In certain types of cases, Article III courts may exercise appellate jurisdiction over Article I courts. In Murray's Lessee v. Hoboken Land & Improvement Co. the Court held that "there are legal matters, involving public rights, which may be presented in such form that the judicial power is capable of acting on them," and which are susceptible to review by an Article III court. In Ex parte Bakelite Corp. the Court declared that Article I courts "may be created as special tribunals to examine and determine various matters, arising between the government and others, which from their nature do not require judicial determination and yet are susceptible of it." Other cases, such as bankruptcy cases, have been held not to involve judicial determination, may therefore go before Article I courts. Several courts in the District of Columbia, under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, are Article I courts rather than Article III courts; this article was expressly extended to the United States District Court for
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War; the amendment was bitterly contested by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress. The amendment its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore regarding the 2000 presidential election, Obergefell v. Hodges regarding same-sex marriage; the amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official. The amendment's first section includes several clauses: the Citizenship Clause, Privileges or Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause, Equal Protection Clause.
The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship, nullifying the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which had held that Americans descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States. Since the Slaughter-House Cases, the Privileges or Immunities Clause has been interpreted to do little; the Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without a fair procedure. The Supreme Court has ruled this clause makes most of the Bill of Rights as applicable to the states as it is to the federal government, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy; the Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people, including all non-citizens, within its jurisdiction. This clause has been the basis for many decisions rejecting irrational or unnecessary discrimination against people belonging to various groups.
The second and fourth sections of the amendment are litigated. However, the second section's reference to "rebellion, or other crime" has been invoked as a constitutional ground for felony disenfranchisement; the fourth section was held, in Perry v. United States, to prohibit a current Congress from abrogating a contract of debt incurred by a prior Congress; the fifth section gives Congress the power to enforce the amendment's provisions by "appropriate legislation". Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed, but when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, having taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof, but Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. Section 4; the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress debated the rights of black former slaves freed by the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1865 Thirteenth Amendment, the latter of which had formally abolished slavery. Following the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment by Congress, Republicans grew concerned over the increase it would create in the congressional representation of the Democratic-dominated Southern States; because the full population of fre