The most important amendment in the constitution is the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendment was proposed by Congress on June 13, 1866 and ratified on July 9, 1868. This amendment is the section about the rights of citizens. There is five sections to the fourteenth amendment. The sections are: citizenship, apportionment of representatives, former confederate officials, public debt, and enforcement.
The first section is citizenship. It says all people born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the state that they reside in. No state is allowed to make or enforce any laws which will take away the privileges of a citizen. No state can take away a person’s life, liberty, or property without lawful reasons. Any state may not deny any person of equal protection of all laws.
The second section is the apportionment of representatives. The number of representatives depends on the population of each individual state excluding the Indians that are not taxed. All people are counted equally from this point on in the census. The third section is the section about the former Confederate officials. This section deals with the pardoning, forgiving, of the leaders of the Confederate states’ rebellion during the Civil War.
The fourth section is the section about the public debt status. This section said that the public debt of the Civil War was legal and would be payed back. It said that the public debt of the Confederate states was illegal and would not be payed back. This was done because they didn’t want the people to get their money back who tried to overthrow the government. It also said that the Confederate states would not be payed back for slave compensation. This section was the punishment for all of the supporters of the rebellion against the United States during the Civil War. The fifth section is the section that deals with enforcement.
This section says that these provisions of the fourteenth amendment will be enforced. The enforcers of these provisions will be Congress. A case dealing with the fourteenth amendment is the case of Korematsu versus the Unites States. This case took place during the mid nineteen hundreds when the United States was at war with Japan. It was brought to court because a man, Korematsu, stayed in the city of San Leandro California.
Korematsu was supposed to leave that area because he is of Japanese descent and the United States was at war with the Japanese Empire. The military decided to have all people of Japanese descent be relocated to another area because the city of San Leandro California is a military area. They feared disloyal Japanese citizens. The military feared invasions and espionage by the Japanese. Korematsu believed that he was being held a prisoner because of his ancestry. There was no evidence that Korematsu would be disloyal to the country.
Korematsu felt that being forced to leave his home in San Leandro because of his background was a violation of his rights as a citizen of the United States. The Supreme Court justices had the same opinions about the case. They believed that this was not a case of racial prejudice. The Justices said that Korematsu was not excluded because of his race. He was excluded because the United States was at war with the Japanese empire and had to take all safety precautions.
One of these precautions being move all of the Japanese citizens out of San Leandro California to prevent a West Coast invasion and espionage. They also felt that this was not a case of racial prejudice because all people of Japanese descent were ordered to be temporarily removed from the city of San Leandro, not just Korematsu. The military had to act fast and they believed that this would be a good way. The Supreme Court believes that the military’s actions were not unjustified. The decision of the court is mostly based on these facts. “The war power of the government is the power to wage war successfully,” that is from a previous case, Hirabayashi versus United States.
“Therefore, the validity of the action under the war power must be judged wholly in the context of war. That action is not to be stigmatized as a lawless action because like action in the times of peace would be lawless”. This means that if there was no war going on then the actions of the military would have been a violation of the rights of Untied States citizen. During these circumstances, the military took action and it was not a violation of Korematsu’s rights. Korematsu was found guilty of not following military orders of the military by remaining in San Leandro California when ordered to leave.
The district courts put him on probation for five years. Korematsu then took the case to the court of appeals. The convictions were upheld and he was still on probation for the rest of the time remaining in his five years of probation. The impact of this decision on the United States could change some peoples ideas of the country. This is a free country, but some people realized now that you are not one hundred percent free here.
The government is allowed to take away some of your freedoms during times of war. On the other hand, some people liked the outcome of the case. These people believe that the government should keep the country safe by taking away some freedoms from some people for an amount of time, like making the Japanese leave San Leandro California during the war with Japan. I think that the Supreme Court made the right decision. If the military has to move people out of an area to make the whole country safer I think they should be allowed to do it.
I also agree with the decision that if the military had ordered Korematsu to leave during a time of peace that he would have won the case because that would have been a violation of his civil rights.