大家周三好呀!今天课代表就准备了GRE阅读 美国14修正案。关于美国历史的文章也不在少数。为了辅助大家更好地备考这部分的内容,课代表在这里为大家整理了“美国14修正案”的背景知识,大家快一起来学习一下吧!

GRE阅读 美国14修正案

  The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1868, prohibits state governments from denying citizens the “equal protection of the laws.” Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction. This declaration, which was echoed in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, was designed primarily to counter the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people in the United States could be denied citizenship. The act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who argued that the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, did not provide Congress with the authority to extend citizenship and equal protection to the freed slaves. Although Congress promptly overrode Johnson’s veto, supporters of the act sought to ensure its constitutional foundations with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The broad language of the amendment strongly suggests that its framers were proposing to write into the Constitution not a laundry list of specific civil rights but a principle of equal citizenship that forbids organized society from treating any individual as a member of an inferior class. Yet for the first eight decades of the amendment’s existence, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the amendment betrayed this ideal of equality. In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, for example, the Court invented the “state action” limitation, which asserts that “private” decisions by owners of public accommodations and other commercial businesses to segregate their facilities are insulated from the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

After the Second World War, a judicial climate more hospitable to equal protection claims culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Two doctrines embraced by the Supreme Court during this period extended the amendment’s reach. First, the Court required especially strict scrutiny of legislation that employed a “suspect classification,” meaning discrimination against a group on grounds that could be construed as racial. This doctrine has broadened the application of the Fourteenth Amendment to other, nonracial forms of discrimination, for while some justices have refused to find any legislative classification other than race to be constitutionally disfavored, most have been receptive to arguments that at least some nonracial discriminations, sexual discrimination in particular, are “suspect” and deserve this heightened scrutiny by the courts. Second, the Court relaxed the state action limitation on the Fourteenth Amendment, bringing new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach.



美利坚合众国宪法第十四条修正案(Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution)于1868年7月9日通过,是三条重建修正案之一。这一修正案涉及公民权利和平等法律保护,最初提出是为了解决南北战争后昔日奴隶的相关问题。修正案备受争议,特别是在南部各州,这些州为了重新加入联邦而被迫通过修正案。第十四条修正案对美国历史产生了深远的影响,有“第二次制宪”之说[1]:207,之后的大量司法案件均是以其为基础。特别是其第一款,是美国宪法涉及官司最多的部分之一,1973年有关堕胎权利问题的罗诉韦德案、有关2000年美国总统选举最终结果的布什诉戈尔案及2015年裁定美国同性婚姻全国合法化的奥贝格费尔诉霍奇斯案等拥有里程碑性质的判决,均是以这一条款为基础。它对美国国内的任何联邦和地方政府官员行为都有法律效力,但对私人行为无效。修正案的第二至四款极少在法律诉讼中引用,第五款赋予国会执法权。第一款包括了多个条款:公民权条款、特权或豁免权条款、正当程序条款和平等保护条款。公民权条款对公民权作出了宽泛的定义,推翻了美国最高法院在1857年斯科特诉桑福德案案中裁定非洲奴隶在美国出生的后代不能成为美国公民的判决。特权或豁免权条款经解读后的实际应用情况也很少。