The 14th Amendment IS Law, Constitutional, and was Ratified July 9, 1868 by Three Fourths of the States.
By C. Harrison Bey
“The 14th and 15th Amendments brought the North and South in unit, placing the Southerners who were at that time without power, with the constitutional body of power.” ~ Noble Drew Ali.
IF the 14th Amendment is not Law and is Unconstitutional, then that means the Confederate States of America is still intact, its Constitution which provided for Negro (Moorish) slavery is still in effect, the matter of citizenship was never officially clarified thus rendering the above statement by Noble Drew Ali ahistorical (lacking historical perspective or context) and, lacking any legal foundation.
Confederate sympathizers often make the claim that the 14th Amendment should be held to be ineffective, invalid, null, void and unconstitutional mainly for the following reasons:
- The Joint Resolution proposing said amendment was not submitted to or adopted by a Constitutional Congress per Article I, Section 3, and Article V of the U. S. Constitution.
- The Joint Resolution was not submitted to the President for his approval as required by Article I, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution.
- The proposed 14th Amendment was rejected by more than one-fourth of all the States then in the Union, and it was never ratified by three-fourths of all the States in the Union as required by Article V of the U. S. Constitution.
- They believe that all of the Southern states which rejected the 14th Amendment had legally constituted governments, were fully recognized by the federal government, and were functioning as member states of the Union at the time of their rejection.
They use a list of the rebel Confederate States accompanied by references to House & Senate Journal pages from 1866-1868 which they allege supports their claim. Here’s a portion of the list in the image below…
What seems to be the case with many of the Confederate sympathizers who espouse such things as, “the 14th Amendment wasn’t properly ratified” or “The United States is a Corporation with a filing in Delaware” or “The 13th Amendment with 20 Sections is the Real Amendment”, etc., is that they have problems with reading comprehension, improperly citing documents or not citing documents at all, altering of original texts, fabricating “information”, as well as using laws, court cases & legal definitions completely out of context. They tend to do what I consider to be Mr. Magoo legal research and rely on copying and pasting “information” from Sovereign Citizen, Right Wing & Conspiracy Theory Websites without verifying the veracity of such.
For instance, the person who posted the list of Confederate States that rejected the Amendment & the accompanying House & Senate Journal references believes this information to be located in the United States Congressional Record as demonstrated in this next image.
Note: There were no actual links provided to the Journals themselves and this is because,
- The pseudo scholar copied it straight from the websites of Confederate sympathizers & Sovereign Citizens. Here are some of the sites that contain this list… click here
- He believes the Journals are located in the Congressional Record and never looked them up himself.
- He doesn’t realize that “The Congressional Record began publication in 1873”, five to seven years after the Confederate Rebel States rejected the Amendment. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwcr.html
- He doesn’t know that the journals being referenced in the list are Confederate State journals and not United States Congressional journals.
Texas being the first on the list is listed in this way… Texas rejected the 14th Amendment on October 27, 1866 (House Journal 1866, pp. 578-584; Senate Journal 1866, p. 471).
The pertinent portions of the Texas House Journal which actually starts on page 577, not 578 and the Senate Journal page 471 can be read at these two links…
Just as Texas’ rejection of the then proposed Amendment is not in the Congressional Record, neither is any other Confederate States’ rejection of the Amendment.
Along with the apparent deficiency in reading comprehension skills, the failed attempts to rewrite history, the clinging to Sovereign Citizens flawed historical and legal research is the lack of knowledge and respect for proper procedure. Whether it’s court procedure or the legislative process, there is very often a deficiency. Example in the image below…
The above image illustrates just one example of a person who obviously doesn’t understand legislative process yet he pretends to know particularly as it relates to proposing Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
In short, a ‘bill’ is the form used for most legislation and requires the President’s signature of approval however, only ‘Joint Resolutions’ may be used to propose amendments to the Constitution, and in this instance do not require the approval of the President. The process that this person is erroneously referencing in the image above pertains to a bill, not a Joint Resolution for a Constitutional Amendment. http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.bysec/formsofaction.html
Note: Andrew Johnson as President of the United States had no Right of approbation or to veto the Joint Resolution proposing the 14th Amendment. Although he complained that the Joint Resolution was not submitted by the two houses for Presidential approval, he was mistaken in his apparent understanding of that particular process. You can read his 1866 message to Congress here. click here
The Supreme Court decided in Hollingsworth v. Virginia, 3 U.S. 378, 1 L. Ed. 644 (1798) that the President’s approval was not required for ratification of an Amendment. “There can, surely, be no necessity to answer that argument. The negative of the President applies only to the ordinary cases of legislation: He has nothing to do with the proposition, or adoption, of amendments to the Constitution.” – Justice Salmon P. Chase
In the next image below, the person is making the claim that if a proposed Amendment is rejected by State Legislatures, it must be reintroduced and proposed again in Congress before the States can vote on it. He apparently uses the old cartoon from School House Rock as his main source of understanding but again, the process that this person is erroneously referencing pertains to a bill, not a Joint Resolution for a Constitutional Amendment.
There is no Constitutional requirement that an Amendment already adopted by Congress “MUST BE (reintroduced) PROPOSED AGAIN IN THE CONGRESS BEFORE THE STATES CAN VOTE ON IT AGAIN”. This argument was addressed in Hollingsworth where it states “…as two thirds of both Houses are required to originate the proposition, it would be nugatory to return it with the President’s negative, to be repassed by the same number”.
As of today, there are four amendments that were adopted by Congress and sent to the States which have not been ratified by the required number of States however, they are still technically OPEN AND PENDING.
- Congressional Apportionment Amendment (pending since September 25, 1789; ratified by 11 states)
Would strictly regulate the size of congressional districts for representation in the House of Representatives.
- Titles of Nobility Amendment (pending since May 1, 1810; ratified by 12 states)
Would strip citizenship from any United States citizen who accepts a title of nobility from a foreign country.
- Corwin Amendment (pending since March 2, 1861; ratified by 3 states)
Would make “domestic institutions” (which in 1861 implicitly meant slavery) of the states impervious to the constitutional amendment procedures enshrined within Article Five of the United States Constitution and immune to abolition or interference even by the most compelling Congressional and popular majorities.
- Child Labor Amendment (pending since June 2, 1924; ratified by 28 states)
Would empower the federal government to regulate child labor.
These old Amendments are still open and pending because there were no expiration terms set within the proposing Congressional Resolutions or the body of the Amendments. This was the case with the 14th Amendment as well, it had no expiration term. “Beginning with the proposed Eighteenth Amendment, Congress has customarily included a provision requiring ratification within seven years from the time of the submission to the States. The Supreme Court in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), declared that the question of the reasonableness of the time within which a sufficient number of States must act is a political question to be determined by the Congress.
In 1789, at the time of the submission of the Bill of Rights, twelve proposed amendments were submitted to the States. Of these, Articles III-XII were ratified and became the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Proposed Articles I and II were not ratified with these ten, but, in 1992, Article II was proclaimed as ratified, 203 years later.”
The last argument listed above is that, “all of the Southern states which rejected the 14th Amendment had legally constituted governments, were fully recognized by the federal government, and were functioning as member states of the Union at the time of their rejection.”
This statement is a great example of what’s called “tricknowledge” because it is Truth and Falsehood mixed. The southern States did have governments, however they weren’t considered legitimate, they weren’t fully recognized in Congress and they were not functioning as member states of the United States at the time of their rejection. They were belligerent insurgent anarchists guilty of sedition, treason and Constitutional violations.
- The States at the time of their rejection of the 14th Amendment had governments which had been usurped by rebels and were not considered Republican in form which Congress has the Constitutional Right to Guarantee (Article IV section 4). In the case of Confederate States that wouldn’t allow people of African descent and women the Right of Universal Suffrage, a highly unrepresentative state government had an insufficiently “Republican Form of Government”. Click here for source
- In 1865, “Congress refuses to seat the former Congressional representatives from the former Confederate states. Arguing that the former Confederate states had forfeited their statehood and returned to the status of territories, a joint committee of six Senators and nine Representatives declares that only Congress, and not the president, can readmit them to the Union.” http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3096
- Although in 1865, certain former Confederates were granted Amnesty and others Presidential Pardons, the former Confederate States did not fully comply with the Provisions for readmission to Congressional representation in the Union.
“During the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America consisted of the governments of 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union in 1860-61, carrying on all the affairs of a separate government and conducting a major war until defeated in the spring of 1865. Convinced that their way of life, based on slavery, was irretrievably threatened by the election of President Abraham Lincoln (November 1860), the seven states of the Deep South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) seceded from the Union during the following months. When the war began with the firing on Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861), they were joined by four states of the upper South (Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia).” Source
The Confederacy was formed February 4, 1861 and its Constitution adopted on March 11, 1861. However, Lincoln argued that the United States were “one nation, indivisible,” and denied the Southern states’ right to secede. In sum, individuals have the Right of Expatriation nevertheless there is no Constitutional provision for a States’ Right of Secession.
From the Supreme Court case of Texas v. White, 74 US 700 – Supreme Court 1869 addressing the issue of States as members of a perpetual, indestructible & indissoluble Union … “The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States. When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.”
From the Supreme Court case of FORD v. SURGET 97 U.S. 594, 24 L.Ed. 1018, 1878… “The Confederate States were only the military representative of the rebellion, and were never recognized by the United States as a de facto government. Their enactments are, therefore, absolute nullities” “The Confederate forces had no rights other than those expressly granted them;” “…when the party in rebellion hold and occupy certain portions of the territory of the rightful sovereign, and have declared their independence, cast off their allegiance, and formed a new government, and have organized armies and raised supplies to support it, and to oppose, and if possible to destroy, the government from which they have separated, the world and the law of nations acknowledge them as belligerents engaged in civil war, because they claim to be in arms to establish their liberty and independence in order to become a sovereign State.”
March 2, 1867. An Act to provide for the more efficient Government of the Rebel States.
March 1867: Congress Divides the South into Military Districts Subject to Martial Law. Over President Johnson’s veto, Congress adopts a new program for reconstruction. The First Reconstruction Act divides the former Confederate states into five military districts subject to martial law. It REQUIRES the ex-Confederate states to ratify the 14th Amendment, adopt new state constitutions disqualifying former Confederate officials from holding public office, and guarantee black men the right to vote.
From the National Archives Catalog, War Department. First Military District. 3/11/1867-3/16/1869, Organization Authority Record, Administrative History Note:
“The establishment of military government in the Southern states as a feature of the system imposed under the Reconstruction Acts was due primarily to the fact that the introduction of Negro suffrage was thought to be possible only through a show of strength. In May and June of 1865 President Andrew Johnson had appointed Provisional Governors for the Southern states and had ordered the enforcement of Federal laws in those states. These measures were intended to have the result, when a state’s constitution should have been amended, of restoring the state “to its constitutional relations to the Federal Government,” but Congress, by an act of March 2, 1867 (14 Stat. 428), divided the ten Southern states into five military districts, each to be commanded by an officer not below the rank of brigadier general. Under the act the primary duties of these commanders were “to protect all persons in their rights of person and property, to suppress insurrection, disorder, and violence, and to punish, or cause to be punished, all disturbers of the public peace and criminals.” Their duties in the reorganization of the state governments, as set forth in an act of March 23, 1867 (15 Stat. 2), were extended to include the registration of qualified voters who had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, the supervision of the election of delegates to state constitutional conventions, and the transmittal to the President of certified copies of the constitutions adopted.” Source
The Passage, Ratification and Adoption of the 14th Amendment
June 8, 1866 – The Senate passed the 14th Amendment by a vote of 33 to 11.
June 13, 1866 – The House of Representatives passed the 14th Amendment by a vote of 120 to 32.
June 16, 1866 – The text of the 14th Amendment can be found in the United States Statutes at Large, volume 14, page 358 (14 Stat. 358)
After the Congressional Act of March 2, 1867 (An Act to provide for the more efficient Government of the Rebel States) along with the reformation of Republican State Governments and Constitutions, on June 22, 1868 Arkansas was readmitted to representation in Congress. Subsequently on June 25, 1868, six former Confederate states–Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina—were also readmitted to the Union. Along with new State governments and Constitutions was the required ratification of the proposed 14th Amendment by the state legislatures. This can be read in the United States Statutes at Large, Fortieth Congress, Sess. II, Ch. 69, 70, 1868. pp. 72-74.
July 28, 1868 – Secretary of State William Seward issued a proclamation certifying the ratification of the 14th Amendment by the requisite 3/4th’s of the states’ legislatures. This can be read in the United States Statutes at Large, Proclamations, pp. 708-711.
From the 1939 Case of Coleman v. Miller 307 US 433, it explains…
“Historic instances are cited. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was rejected by the legislature of New Jersey which subsequently ratified it, but the question did not become important as ratification by the requisite number of States had already been proclaimed. The question did arise in connection with the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. The legislatures of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina had rejected the amendment in November and December, 1866. New governments were erected in those States (and in others) under the direction of Congress. The new legislatures ratified the amendment, that of North Carolina on July 4, 1868, that of South Carolina on July 9, 1868, and that of Georgia on July 21, 1868. Ohio and New Jersey first ratified and then passed resolutions withdrawing their consent. As there were then thirty-seven States, twenty-eight were needed to constitute the requisite three-fourths. On July 9, 1868, the Congress adopted a resolution requesting the Secretary of State to communicate “a list of the States of the Union whose legislatures have ratified the fourteenth article of amendment,” and in Secretary Seward’s report attention was called to the action of Ohio and New Jersey. On July 20th Secretary Seward issued a proclamation reciting the ratification by twenty-eight States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and New Jersey, and stating that it appeared that Ohio and New Jersey had since passed resolutions withdrawing their consent and that “it is deemed a matter of doubt and uncertainty whether such resolutions are not irregular, invalid and therefore ineffectual.” The Secretary certified that if the ratifying resolutions of Ohio and New Jersey were still in full force and effect, notwithstanding the attempted withdrawal, the amendment had become a part of the Constitution. On the following day the Congress adopted a concurrent resolution which, reciting that three-fourths of the States having ratified (the list including North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and New Jersey), declared the Fourteenth Amendment to be a part of the Constitution and that it should be duly promulgated as such by the Secretary of State. Accordingly, Secretary Seward, on July 28th, issued his proclamation embracing the States mentioned in the congressional resolution and adding Georgia. Thus the political departments of the Government dealt with the effect both of previous rejection and of attempted withdrawal and determined that both were ineffectual in the presence of an actual ratification. While there were special circumstances, because of the action of the Congress in relation to the governments of the rejecting States (North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia), these circumstances were not recited in proclaiming ratification and the previous action taken in these States was set forth in the proclamation as actual previous rejections by the respective legislatures. This decision by the political departments of the Government as to the validity of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment has been accepted.” Source
New Jersey and Ohio’s attempt to rescind ratification is inapplicable as the Constitution does not provide for States to rescind the ratification of an Amendment. The logic is simple in that any of the several states today could rescind their vote of ratification on any or all of the Articles and Amendments which leaves room for the undermining of the Nation as an Indivisible and Perpetual Union. Imagine the Bill of Rights being repealed and removed from the Constitution because some people of a State decided they wanted to rescind. Further, 9 more states subsequently voted to ratify after South Carolina.
In Conclusion: Noble Drew Ali, in his comment, acknowledges and speaks of the legitimacy and lawful power of the 14th Amendment when he said “The 14th and 15th Amendments brought the North and South in unit, placing the Southerners who were at that time without power, with the constitutional body of power.” The Supreme Court of the United States declares the Unconstitutionality of Laws and there’s never been one SCOTUS that has declared the Amendment to be Unconstitutional. There’s not been one Congress that has acted to have the 14th Amendment repealed for its alleged Unconstitutionality. Therefore in considering all that’s been presented, one can only logically conclude that the 14th Amendment was Constitutionally ratified, it is in Fact Law and is a part of the Constitution which it has been since its adoption in July of 1868.
By C. Harrison-Bey (Ali Bey)