The discrepancy between the fourteenth amendment’s true meaning as originally understood, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of its meaning over time, has been dramatic and unfortunate. The amendment was intended to be a constitutional rule for the promotion and protection of people’s rights, administered by the states as front-line regulators of life, liberty, and property, to be overseen by Congress and supported by federal legislation as necessary. In this book, William B. Glidden makes the case that instead, the amendment has operated as a judge-dominated, negative rights-against-government regime, supervised by the Supreme Court. Whenever Congress has enacted legislation to protect life, liberty, or property rights of people in the states, the laws were often overturned, narrowly construed, or forced to rely on the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, under the Supreme Court’s constraining interpretations. Glidden proposes that Congress must recover for itself or be restored to its proper role as the designated federal enforcement agency for the fourteenth amendment.
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About the Author
William B. Glidden earned a PhD in American History at the University of Illinois and a law degree at New York University Law School. He spent three years as an assistant professor of history at Clarkson College of Technology and the rest of his career as an attorney in the Law Department of the Comptroller of the Currency, a bureau in the U.S. Treasury Department.
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Chapter One: An Overview of the post-Civil War Constitutional Amendments
Chapter Two: The Thirteenth Amendment and the 1866 Civil Rights Act
Chapter Three: The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment
Chapter Four: Applying Constitutional Rules for Governance over Time
Chapter Five: The Supreme Court Eviscerated the Privileges or Immunities Clause and
Chapter Six: Congress, Protective Laws, and the Court in the 20th Century
Chapter Seven: The Judicial Supremacy and State Action Doctrines should be Removed from Section Five
Chapter Eight: Section Five should be Restored to the Constitution in its Full Original
Meaning so Congress can Protect our Fourteenth Amendment Rights