Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why Do Non-Citizens Have Constitutional Rights? Answer in 140 Words

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s the long story short. By unalienable, authors of the Declaration of Independence meant that God endows every human being with rights that cannot be sold, contracted away, or taken by law.

Those words in 1776 were true for some white men but not other people. After the Civil War (July 28, 1868), the Fourteenth Amendment fulfilled this promise, at least with respect to race, national origin, and alienage. It forbids states to deny "any person (not any citizen) life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

No comments: