Pros and Cons of the Fourteenth Amendment

Basically, the inclusion of the Fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution should be applauded for several reasons. First, the provisions have finally ended the sufferings of the blacks and minorities from discriminatory acts of the whites. Through the provision, the blacks have ultimately obtained their freedom from slavery. Second, the minority class have also been granted with rights and privileges enjoyed by a citizen. The blacks can now enter into a valid and enforceable contract can participate in social and political affairs.

Last, the gap between the blacks and white has been eliminated because both can co-exist without claim of superiority. The rights and opportunities that are afforded to the blacks are the most important things as they can freely exercise their freedom and can explore their talents and improve their skills to its maximum potential without hindrances from the government. Hence, the equality is making sense in view of the minority by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment.

On the other hand, the provision has also its drawback. The zealous purpose of the provision may have been attained but it is still offering more to the detriment of the foundation of the society. Through the provision, there have been rights which did not exist and never recognized before that are gaining recognition today. However, citizens are divided because of the impact of the grant of right to morality and common practice. Common criticism on the interpretation of the law is the grant for private right.

In the decision of the court in the case of Laurence, there was no specific showing that a citizen has private right to granted by the constitution. The negative effect on the morality of the society has aggravated the doubt as to the proper construction of the provision. In addition, the equal protection clause has also drawback on the part of businessmen as they are not allowed to deny employment opportunity on account of sex, gender, race, and physical disabilities.

Among businessmen, the provision has eliminated their right to hire applicants which they view as helpful in their profit-making. Furthermore, the provision may cause conflicting rights in the future. With the laxity of the interpretation of the provision, many groups in the society would eventually demand their private rights and equal protection of law for the recognition of their newly asserted rights Notably, in California, many gay marriages have been invalidated by the nullification of the same-sex marriage.

It is noteworthy that the recognition of the rights of gay to marry has its origin in California. Thousands of gay marriages have also been celebrated in the said place. At present, the residents are divided on the legality and validity of the gay marriage. During the counting ballots, the Prop 8 won against those who support gay marriage (White). This only implies that there are more who value the sanctity of marriage to be between man and woman only (White).

Furthermore, the decision can also strike down the decisions earlier made by the courts in legalizing same-sex marriages. This particular event, illustrates that the provision of the court should be construed strictly and should not compromise morality and common practices which were long protected by the framers of the Constitution. Conclusion At the time the Fourteenth Amendment was proposed, the framers were faced with the purpose of repairing the flaws in the society. The slavery and the citizenship were prioritized as the main objective of the provision.

In addition, the equal protection was included to ensure that the Constitutional rights be afforded to every citizens and would prevent the government from intervening or hindering an individual from exercising such right. Significantly, the rights which were protected by the provision are the rights inculcated in the Bill of Rights. Hence, private rights raised by gays may not fall within the ambit of the Fourteenth Amendment. Significantly, the framers did not intend that the provision may be interpreted in a slack manner and in compromising morality.

While it may be true that the country is democratic that citizens are allowed to do anything they wish to do, but the state is also obligated to protect the public from any acts of immorality that may ruin the values founded and thought by the forefathers. Furthermore, the nation should be protected from any ideologies or principles which may divide the people and led the nation in chaos. Finally, the provision has been provided to protect the legal and valid interest of the people from any arbitrary acts of the government and should be interpreted in a way that freedom will not conflict with public safety and interest.


  • Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954).
  • Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U. S. 321 (1977). Find Law for Legal Professionals. (2008). Fourteenth Amendment. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://caselaw. lp. findlaw. com/data/constitution/amendment14/
  • Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003). MSN Encarta. (2008). The American Civil War. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_761567354/civil_war. html
  • Plessy v Ferguson, 347 U. S. 483 (1896).