Proposed after the Civil War and ratified in 1868, the 14th Amendment is perhaps the single most important amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guaranteed citizenship to the former slaves and their descendants, and it also guaranteed “due process of law” and “equal protection of the laws” with respect to actions by state and local governments. Over time and as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, the 14th Amendment has dramatically expanded the civil rights of all Americans and been the basis for landmark Supreme Court decisions in the areas of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, same-sex discrimination, criminal justice and privacy rights. Explore the amendment’s history, importance and enduring legacy in a discussion with Stephen McAllister, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, Senior Judge John Lungstrum of the U.S. District Court (District of Kansas) and Chief Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court (District of Kansas).
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