Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Senator NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Commemorates 150th anniversary of ratification of Fourteenth Amendment to United States Constitution.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Joint Resolution commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Whereas, The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted citizenship to all persons born in the United States, including former slaves, and which prohibits states from denying to any person the equal protection of the law or denying to any person life, liberty, or property without due process of law, was ratified 150 years ago in July 1868; and
Whereas, No amendment to the Constitution is cited in litigation as often as the Fourteenth Amendment, and it is the basis for numerous landmark Supreme Court cases; and
Whereas, Many of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, which are protections against federal government action, have been applied to state government action through the Fourteenth Amendment; and
Whereas, High profile Supreme Court cases over the past few decades very often dealt with interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment; and
Whereas, The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment figures prominently in court decisions striking down state-sanctioned racial and gender discrimination as, for example, in public education; and
Whereas, Underlying the Supreme Court’s rationale for ruling state prohibitions on abortion and same-sex marriage unconstitutional is the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and
Whereas, Along with the other two post-Civil War amendments abolishing slavery and prohibiting the denial of the right to vote on account of race, many scholars describe the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification as America’s “Second Founding” because these amendments reshaped the Constitution to protect fundamental rights from state government abuse in addition to protections against federal government abuse; and
Whereas, Prominent among those leading the effort to transform the country after the Civil War was Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania who, together with others, helped craft and push for passage of the post-Civil War amendments; and
Whereas, It is fitting and proper for the State of New Jersey to commemorate the 150th anniversary of ratification of the important and transformative Fourteenth Amendment; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Governor and Legislature of the State of New Jersey hereby commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
2. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the National Constitution Center.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This joint resolution celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Besides explicitly guaranteeing certain civil rights, the Fourteenth Amendment is the underlying basis for many of the Supreme Court’s most famous decisions.
No amendment to the U.S. Constitution is cited in litigation more than the Fourteenth Amendment. Litigation on the amendment’s Equal Protection clause led to rulings on discrimination, as in those striking down laws allowing segregated education, and the amendment’s Due Process Clause is the source for the Court’s rulings applying many of the protections in the Bill of Rights to state government action.
The importance of the amendment is captured in the fact that scholars describe its passage as the “Second Founding” of America. Along with the other post-Civil War Amendments banning slavery and prohibiting the denial of the right to vote on account of race, the Fourteenth Amendment transformed the U.S. Constitution to one that protects fundamental rights from state as well as federal government abuse.