The Pros And Cons Of The Fourteenth Amendment

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The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia met between May and September of 1787 to address the problems of the weak central government that existed under the Articles of Confederation. The Antifederalists were extremely concerned that the national government would trample their rights. Rhode Island and North Carolina refused to ratify until the framers added the Bill of Rights. These first ten amendments outlined things that the government could not do to its people. They are as such: o First Amendment: Freedom of Religion, of Speech, of the Press, of Peaceful Assembly, and the Right to Petition o Second Amendment: Right to Keep and Bear Arms o Third Amendment: Quartering of Soldiers o Fourth Amendment: Right to Privacy and Unwarrantable…show more content…
The national government was still too weak and the states were unrestrained. It is believed that it would have been more important to limit the states than the federal government. The first attempt to limit the states came with the Fourteenth Amendment and sought to ensure that the slaves freed under the Thirteenth Amendment would not be denied full protection of the law. Despite the clarity of the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868, it was not until 1925 that the Supreme Court actually applied the Fourteenth Amendment to the states in the case of Gitlow v. New York, when it ruled with the state of New York against Gitlow who was advocating for the overthrow of the government. This process of selective incorporation is not smooth and continues to progress in surges with the most recent ruling in 2010 in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, which incorporated the Second Amendment by striking down a gun control ordinance in Chicago, while reaffirming the ownership restrictions adopted in 2008. The Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments remain…show more content…
I think that it is important to remember that the framers were fairly new at creating a government unlike any other government in the world and their main concern was freedom from government control. It appears that their biggest mistake was not applying the Bill of Rights to the states as well as the national government. It also becomes problematic in that two men, having different political beliefs and opinions, can interpret the same law in very different ways. Thus, the Supreme Court, established in 1789, which consists of the Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices, is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law. In other words, when there is disagreement concerning constitutional law, the Supreme Court settles it. The power to nominate the Justices is vested in the President of the United States, and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate. This in itself has become conflictual due to affiliations which could certainly sway decisions in favor of one particular political
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