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NCJ Number: 44583 Find in a Library
Title: GOVERNMENT BY JUDICIARY - THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT
Author(s): R BERGER
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 493
Sponsoring Agency: Harvard University Press
Cambridge, MA 02138
Sale Source: Harvard University Press
79 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE AUTHOR ARGUES THAT THE SUPREME COURT'S USE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, ESPECIALLY SINCE 1954, HAS DANGEROUSLY DISREGARDED THE INTENTIONS OF THE AMENDMENT'S FRAMERS.
Abstract: THE COURT, HE WARMS, HAS ASSUMED AN EXTRAORDINARY ROLE, THAT OF THE NATION'S PARAMOUNT POLICYMAKER, A SUPER-LEGISLATURE. THE AUTHOR DOCUMENTS THE NARROW AIMS OF THOSE WHO FRAMED THE AMENDMENT: TO PERMIT BLACKS TO OWN PROPERTY AND TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS; TO FORBID UNEQUAL PUNISHMENT OF BLACKS, AND TO PROTECT BLACKS FROM OPPRESSION. HE SHOWS THAT THE THREE CLAUSES OF THE AMENDMENT -- PRIVILEGES OR IMMUNITIES, DUE PROCESS OF LAW, AND EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAWS -- WERE DESIGNED MERELY TO DESCRIBE AND IMPLEMENT THOSE RIGHTS, NOT, FOR EXAMPLE, TO GIVE CONTROL OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ADMINISTRATION IN THE STATES TO THE COURT. THE AUTHOR SHOWS THAT SUFFRAGE, TOO, WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE SCOPE OF THE AMENDMENT, AND THAT THE WARREN COURT'S 'ONE MAN, ONE VOTE' INTERPRETATION ACTUALLY REPRESENTS A RADICAL REVISION OF THE AMENDMENT. THE COURT WAS NOT EMPOWERED TO REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION; IT WAS SPECIFICALLY BARRED FROM POLICYMAKING. NO MATTER HOW HUMANE OR JUSTIFIABLE ITS PURPOSE, THE AUTHOR ARGUES, THE COURT SHOULD NOT ASSUME UNCONFERRED POWERS. IF IT DOES, THE RESULT IN THE LONG RUN MAY SEVERELY THREATEN OUR DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED).
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Equal Protection; Right to Due Process
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44583

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