Q: Was The 14th Amendment Constitutionally Adopted? A: NO
(This piece was originally published on 7 October, 2013)
Mandeville, LA – I often refer to the 14th Amendment as “the miracle amendment” because it offers a binding, guilt trip addled method of bringing the Federal authority & the Constitution to bear on any question you can think of or dream up. To deny this authority, it is implied, denies the very existence of our Union, the emancipation of slaves and our “constitutional rights”. Besides the question of whether the Constitution is a plan of government with limited usefulness i.e. nomocratic, or a charter of ever expanding rights and limitless authority, or teleocratic, the fashionable view of the 14th Amendment is of an über-supreme act of the wisest and most pure of all Congresses, that radically altered the original order, a second Philadelphia convention if you will without the authority of that body. This “second convention” and the ensuing 147 years has produced a government unrecognizable from its origins and the spirit of its intent. The 14th Amendment guarantees that over 1 century long effort is “de jure”, or does it? What if the 14th Amendment were never legally ratified as Article V says it must be? After days of searching and even more days of reformatting the original text into a modern format, I am posting the definitive answer to the question of the 14th Amendment’s ratification from historian Forrest McDonald.
Was the Fourteenth Amendment Constitutionally Adopted?
BY FORREST MCDONALD
This article originally appeared in
Georgia Journal Of Southern Legal History
Vol. I, No. I, Spring/Summer 1991
During and after the Civil War, Southerners repeatedly declared that the cause for which they fought was the “sublime moral principle” of states’ rights. Given such protestations, and given the history of southern resistance to federal authorityi throughout the antebellum period, it is easy enough ton associate states’ rights exclusively with the South—but it is alsog mistaken. Connecticut and Massachusetts endorsed interposition in 1808; the Hartford Convention of 1814 did the same. In 1840 Vermont made it a crime to aid in the capture of a runaway slave, despite the federal fugitive slave act. In 1846 the Massachusetts House of Representatives declared the Mexican War unconstitutional; a decade later Wisconsin asserted the supremacy of its supreme court over the United States Supreme Court.
Two years later, the Georgia Bar Journal published “a statement issued by the State Sovereignty Commission of Louisiana” entitled “Unconstitutional Creation of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The statement rehearsed the facts, garbling several of them along the way, called for the Supreme Court to declare the amendment illegal, and concluded that the amendment was mistitled and should be designated “Military Edict No. 1.”
Yet it was the seceding states that had carried the doctrine of states’ rights to the extreme, and northern Radical Republicans, in their zeal to punish, plunder, and reconstruct the South, were willing to undermine the doctrine as part of there undertaking.
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