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CivilWarAmendments/Reconstruction

MasonF.,2ndhour

1.
Amendment13:SlaveryisofficiallyabolishedwithintheentiretyoftheU.S.

Baileyv.Alabama1911
AblackmanagreedtoworkfortheRiversideCompanyandreceivedanadvance,but
stoppedworkingbeforehehadpaidtheadvanceoffandrefusedtorefundanymoney.
AlabamacourtsruledthatBaileywasguilty,duetostatelaw.TheSupremeCourt
overturnedthisruling,comparingthechargeswithindenturedservitude,whichwas
outlawedbytheThirteenthAmendment.

Memphisv.Greene1981
Attherequestofcitizensofawhitearea,thecityplannedtopermanentlyclosearoad
portioninapredominantlyblackareathatwouldlengthencommutesaroundthe
aforementionedwhiteregion,avirtualsegregation.Blackcitizensraisedanoutcry,
citingtheCivilRightsActof1866andtheThirteenthAmendment,sayingthe
oppressionwasabadgeofslavery.Thecourtdeniedthedissentersclaimsof
unconstitutionality.

Amendment14:GrantedeveryonebornornaturalizedintheU.S.isacitizen.Alsorepeated
theDueProcessClauseoriginatedintheFifthAmendment,andguaranteedallcitizens
equalprotectionunderthelaw.GaveCongressthepowertopunishstatesthatshorted
peopleonsuffrage.Prohibitedanyonewhohadrebelledagainstthegovernment(i.e.
southerntroops,politicians)frombeingelectedintoofficewithoutatwothirdsvotefrom
Congress.ProhibitedSouthernStatesfrompayingwardebtsandfromcompensatingformer
slaveownersfortheirlossofproperty.

Lochnerv.NewYork1905
Lochnerwasconvictedofviolatingalocallawthatcappedhispermittedworkinghours
at60hoursaweek.TheSupremeCourtoverruledtheworklimit,statingthatitviolated
LochnersConstitutionalrighttolife,liberty,orproperty...(DueProcessClause,
FourteenthandFifthAmendments

Brownv.BoardofEducation1954
PlessyvFergusonallowedsegregationofschoolsifthefacilitiesprovidedwereequal.
Thiscaseoverturnedthat.Segregationofpubliceducationwasdeclaredinviolationof
theFourteenthAmendmentsEqualProtectionClause.

Amendment15:Outlawedstatesfromdenyingsuffragetocitizenssolelybecauseof
race,
color,orpreviousconditionofservitude.

Guinnv.UnitedStates1915
Somestatesrequiredliteracytestsforthoseregisteringtovote,whichofteninhibited
blackcitizens.Thisinequalitywasfurtherincreasedbysomestatesalsoinstituting
grandfatherclauseexemptions.Theseexemptedcitizensfromtheliteracytestsif
theirgrandfatherhadbeen,priorto1/1/1866,eligibletovote,acitizenofanother
country,orasoldier.TheSupremeCourtruledthistobetargetedtowardsblack
citizens,andthusinviolationoftheFifteenthAmendment.

Louisianav.UnitedStates1965
Inasimilarsituation,Louisianaadministrationgaveregistrarscompletediscretionon
whomwouldbeabletovote.Inordertoqualify,applicantswererequiredto"givea
reasonableinterpretation"ofanyclauseintheLouisianaStateConstitutionortheU.S.
Constitution.Theinterpretationtestswereabolished,astheywereruledtoalsobein
violationoftheFifteenthAmendment.
2.NotonlydidtheFourteenthAmendmentwarrantthemostchange,betweentheincredible
broadeningofcitizenshipstandardsandestablishmanyequalrightsstatutes,butitalsowas
theprimarycauseofdissenttotheSouth,duetothebarsofelectedofficesandrestrictions
onReconstruction.
3.LincolnsentireapproachtoReconstructionwaspeacefullydrawingtheConfederateStates
backintotheirpositionsintheUnion.Wade,Davis,andtheRadicalRepublicansformedtheir
legislationfromtheirbeliefsthattheSouth,byseceding,hadcommittedtreasonanddeserved
tobeconvictedforit,and,throughforcingsouthernofficialsandvoterstosweartheyhad
neversupportedConfederateidealsbeforetheirreinstitution,theyplannedtousethebillto
bolsterRepublicanpowerinCongress.LincolnvetoedthebillbecausetopunishtheSouthfor
secedingwasalsorecognizesecession,whichthegovernmenthadrefusedtodo,andhad
nullifiedclaimsof.LincolninsteadclaimsthattheRebelssoughtto
rendtheUnionevenby
war.
4.TheeasierdecisionswillbetopromotetheCivilWarAmendmentsandseethemratified.
TheonechangeIwouldmakewouldbecompensatingformerslaveowners.Whilethey
shouldnothaveownedtheslaves,thegovernmentdid,allthingsconsidered,removepartof
theirwealth.Beforetheslaveswerefreed,theyhadmorepropertythanaftertheThirteenth
Amendmentwasratified.Whilethiscanbelikenedtopurchasingtheslavestheirfreedom,it
isthefairestchoice,consideringtheextremelengthoftimeduringwhichthefederal
governmentsupportedand/ortoleratedhumansbeinglabeledasproperty.Iwouldnotpass
theWadeDavisBill,asitwouldinevitablyleadtoasevereimbalanceofthepoliticalparties
power,whichisharmfultotheoverallconcernofrestoringtheSouthand,indeedthe
Democrats,toequality,howeverunstableitmaybe.