By William D. Araiza
For over a century, Congress’s strength to implement the Fourteenth Amendment’s warrantly of “the equivalent defense of the legislation” has awarded judges and students with a puzzle. What does it suggest for Congress to “enforce” this kind of wide-ranging, open-ended provision while the very best court docket has insisted by itself superiority in reading the Fourteenth modification? In implementing the equivalent security Clause, William D. Araiza deals a special realizing of Congress’s enforcement strength and its dating to the Court’s declare to supremacy whilst reading the structure. Drawing at the background of yankee brooding about equality within the many years sooner than and after the Civil conflict, Araiza argues that congressional enforcement and judicial supremacy can co-exist, yet provided that the court docket limits its function to making sure that enforcement laws kind of promotes the center that means of the equivalent defense Clause. a lot of the Court’s equivalent defense jurisprudence stops wanting declaring such middle that means, therefore leaving Congress loose (subject to acceptable judicial exams) to implement the total scope of the constitutional warrantly. Araiza’s thesis reconciles the best Court’s final position in studying the structure with Congress’s improved potential to remodel the Fourteenth Amendment’s majestic ideas into dwelling fact. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Enforcement Clause increases tough problems with separation of powers, federalism, and constitutional rights. Araiza illuminates each one of those during this scholarly, well timed paintings that's either intellectually rigorous but additionally available to non-specialist readers.
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Additional resources for Enforcing the Equal Protection Clause: Congressional Power, Judicial Doctrine, and Constitutional Law
Even though Congress overrode President Johnson’s veto and enacted the Civil Rights Act, enough doubts lingered about that law’s constitutional foundation to spur work on another constitutional amendment—what became the Fourteenth Amendment. Perhaps surprisingly, much of that amendment has relatively little modern relevance. 22 By contrast, Section 1, which bestows American citizenship on all persons born in the country, and prevents states from abridging “the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” depriving any person of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” or depriving any person of “the equal protection of the laws,” has been an exceptionally fruitful source of law.
Some northerners did express what we might consider more modern thinking about race, embracing a view that blacks and whites were equal in all respects and calling for the repeal of all laws drawing racial distinctions. 15 These disagreements were not purely theoretical, even before the Civil War. Free states imposed varying degrees of restrictions on blacks: most prohibited them from voting, and many restricted their ability to contract, own property, or appear in court as a witness, litigant, or juror.
62 In Powell the Court considered itself unauthorized to second-guess the state’s health-based justifications for the oleomargarine law. In Weaver, however, the Court, noting the state’s concession that sterilization of the shoddy makes it safe, refused to defer to the remaining potential justifications for the law—justifications Justice Holmes offered in his dissenting opinion. The point is simple. In both Powell and Weaver the Court had to decide whether the state’s actions were constitutional.
Enforcing the Equal Protection Clause: Congressional Power, Judicial Doctrine, and Constitutional Law by William D. Araiza
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