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Unformatted text preview: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OUTLINE EQUALITY AND THE CONSTITUTION • Race, the Constitution, and Changing Conceptions of Equality (Pages 447- 450) NOTES • The Equal Protection Clause of the 14 th Amend is the primary source of constitutional requirements of equal treatment; the 14 th Amend was birthed out of a “desire after the Civil War to protect newly freed African American slaves from continued discrimination by southern state governments • Although the word slavery does not appear in the original Constitution, three provisions recognized and legitimated the practice o Article I, section 2, clause 3: Cannot outlaw slave trade until 1808;Required apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives on the basis of the “whole number of free Persons” in each state, minus the number of “Indians not taxed,” plus “three fifths of all other Person.” o Article I, section 9, clause 1: 3/5 Compromise; Prohibited Congress from outlawing the “Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper” until 1808. o Article IV, section 2, clause 3: Delivery of fugitive slaves; Required states to “[deliver] up” any “Person held to Service or Labour in one State” who had escaped into their territory. • In drafting the Constitution, the framers “[dealt] with slavery by seeking, so far as possible, to take it out of the national political arena.” 1. Slavery and the Constitution • State v. Post (Nevius, J.) (Page 450) o FACTS: Test case brought in the form of a habeas corpus action demanding the release of three individuals who were deemed slaves; abolitionists argued that slavery was made illegal in New Jersey by a provision in the state’s 1844 constitution declaring that “all men are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”] Abolitionist Argument: Slavery deprived slaves of life, liberty and property in violation of the due process clause of the 5 th Amend; that it deprived New Jersey of a republican form of government in violation of article IV; that it violated the preamble of the Constitution; and that it violated the Treaty of Ghent, which outlawed the slave trade o ISSUE: Whether slavery can exist within the limits of this state (New Jersey) under its present constitution and laws. o HOLDING: The institution of slavery is not incompatible with the New Jersey constitution; thus, it can exist within the limits of the state under the present constitution and laws. o RATIONALE: The New Jersey constitution must be understood in a modified sense according to the nature, the condition and laws of the society to which they belong Framers of the New Jersey constitution did not write the document with the intention that blacks would be free • “Authority and subordination are essential under every form of civil...
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- Spring '11
- The American, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Brown v. Board of Education, The Court