Constitutional Amendment 14

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Citizenship Rights Not to Be Abridged.

(The following, popularly known as the Reconstruction Amendment, was proposed to the Legislatures of the several States by the Thirty-ninth Congress on the 16th of June, 1866, and was declared to have been ratified in a proclamation by the Secretary of State, dated July 23, 1868. The amendment got the support of 23 Northern States: it was rejected by Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and 10 Southern States. California took no action. Subsequently it was ratified by the 10 Southern States.)

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Apportionment of Representatives in Congress.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers counting the whole number of persons in each State excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of Electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduce in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Powers of Congress to Remove Disabilities of United States Officials for Rebellion.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or Elector of President and Vice-President or holding any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

What Public Debts Are Valid.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection and rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss of emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article.

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