U.S. Senator from Michigan Jacob M. Howard, author of the Citizenship Clause
United States President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation on civil rights on June 11, 1963
Rep. John Bingham of Ohio was the principal author of the Equal Protection Clause
Following the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, civil rights leaders met with President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson to discuss civil rights legislation.
Thurgood Marshall served as chief counsel in the landmark Fourteenth Amendment decision Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
First page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Senate and House votes on the Fourteenth Amendment
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X at the United States Capitol on March 26, 1964, listening to the Senate debate on the bill. This was the only time the two men ever met; their meeting lasted only one minute.
Form of the Letter of Transmittal of the Fourteenth Amendment to the several states for its ratification
United States President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among the guests behind him is Martin Luther King Jr.
A map showing the each Senator's Vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The record of the roll call vote kept by the House Clerk on final passage of the bill
Engrossing copy of H.R. 7152, which added sex to the categories of persons against whom the bill prohibited discrimination, as passed by the House of Representatives
United States President Lyndon B. Johnson speaks to a television camera at the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964

Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment, and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

- Civil Rights Act of 1964

Abridgment or denial of those civil rights by private persons is not addressed by this amendment; the Supreme Court held in the Civil Rights Cases (1883) that the amendment was limited to "state action" and, therefore, did not authorize the Congress to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals or organizations (though Congress can sometimes reach such discrimination via other parts of the Constitution such as the Commerce Clause which Congress used to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the Supreme Court upheld this approach in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964))).

- Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
U.S. Senator from Michigan Jacob M. Howard, author of the Citizenship Clause

6 related topics

Alpha

The ruins of Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital, after the American Civil War; newly-freed African Americans voting for the first time in 1867; office of the Freedmen's Bureau in Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis riots of 1866

Reconstruction era

Period in American history following the American Civil War ; it lasted from 1865 to 1877 and marked a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States.

Period in American history following the American Civil War ; it lasted from 1865 to 1877 and marked a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States.

The ruins of Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital, after the American Civil War; newly-freed African Americans voting for the first time in 1867; office of the Freedmen's Bureau in Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis riots of 1866
The Southern economy had been ruined by the war. Charleston, South Carolina: Broad Street, 1865
The distribution of wealth per capita in 1872, illustrating the disparity between North and South in that period
A political cartoon of Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, 1865, entitled "The Rail Splitter At Work Repairing the Union". The caption reads (Johnson): "Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever." (Lincoln): "A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended."
Monument in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, organized after the war
Freedmen voting in New Orleans, 1867
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1861–1865)
Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation in Massachusetts, 1862
Northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (1865–1869)
An October 24th, 1874 Harper's Magazine editorial cartoon by Thomas Nast denouncing KKK and White League murders of innocent Blacks
The debate over Reconstruction and the Freedmen's Bureau was nationwide. This 1866 Pennsylvania election poster alleged that the bureau kept the Negro in idleness at the expense of the hardworking white taxpayer. A racist caricature of an African American is depicted.
1868 Republican cartoon identifies Democratic candidates Seymour and Blair (right) with KKK violence and with Confederate soldiers (left).
"This is a white man's government", Thomas Nast's caricature of the forces arraigned against Grant and Reconstruction in the 1868 election. Atop a black Union veteran reaching for a ballot box: the New York City Irish; Confederate and Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest; and big-money Democratic Party chairman August Belmont, a burning freedmen's school in the background. Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1868.
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States (1869–1877)
Grant's Attorney General Amos T. Akerman prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan, believing that the strong arm of the federal Justice Department could pacify the South.
Eastman Johnson's 1863 painting The Lord is My Shepherd, of a man reading the Bible
Atlanta's rail yard and roundhouse in ruins shortly after the end of the Civil War
$20 banknote with portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch
Winslow Homer's 1876 painting A Visit from the Old Mistress
A Republican Form of Government and No Domestic Violence, by Thomas Nast, a political cartoon about the Wheeler Compromise in Louisiana, published in Harper's Weekly, March 6, 1875
White Leaguers attacking the New Orleans integrated police force and state militia, Battle of Liberty Place, 1874
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States (1877–1881)
A poster for the 1939 epic film Gone with the Wind, which is set during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras

It proclaimed the newly freed slaves (freedmen; black people) citizens with (ostensibly) the same civil rights as those of whites; these rights were nominally guaranteed by three new constitutional amendments: the 13th, 14th, and 15th, collectively known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

The later enforceable Civil Rights Act of 1964 borrowed many of the earlier 1875's law's provisions.

Alabama police in 1965 attack voting rights marchers on "Bloody Sunday", the first of the Selma to Montgomery marches

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

Landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

Alabama police in 1965 attack voting rights marchers on "Bloody Sunday", the first of the Selma to Montgomery marches
United States President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks at the signing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965
United States President George W. Bush signs amendments to the Act in July 2006
The first page of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
States and counties encompassed by the Act's coverage formula in January 2008 (excluding bailed-out jurisdictions). Several counties subsequently bailed out, but the majority of the map accurately depicts covered jurisdictions before the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder (2013), which declared the coverage formula unconstitutional.
Final page of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate Hubert Humphrey, and Speaker of the House John McCormack

Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act sought to secure the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South.

Congress responded to rampant discrimination against racial minorities in public accommodations and government services by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Joseph P. Bradley authored the opinion of the court.

Civil Rights Cases

Joseph P. Bradley authored the opinion of the court.
John Marshall Harlan, became known as the "Great Dissenter" for his fiery dissent in Civil Rights Cases and other early civil rights cases.

The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883), were a group of five landmark cases in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments did not empower Congress to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals.

Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 generally revived the ban on discrimination in public accommodations that was in the Civil Rights Act of 1875, but under the Commerce Clause of Article I instead of the 14th Amendment; the Court held Title II to be constitutional in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States,.

Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States

Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964), was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States holding that the Commerce Clause gave the U.S. Congress power to force private businesses to abide by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin in public accommodations.

Rolleston also asserted that racial discrimination by an individual is not prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment or the Constitution, claiming that discrimination is a private wrong that individuals are allowed to commit.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

Commerce Clause

Enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution .

Enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution .

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

The wide interpretation of the scope of the Commerce Clause continued following the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which aimed to prevent business from discriminating against black customers.

The Court found in Seminole Tribe v. Florida, that unlike the Fourteenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause does not give the federal government the power to abrogate the sovereign immunity of the states.

Congressman John Bingham of Ohio was the principal framer of the Equal Protection Clause.

Equal Protection Clause

Congressman John Bingham of Ohio was the principal framer of the Equal Protection Clause.
This drawing by E. W. Kemble shows a sleeping Congress with a broken 14th Amendment. It makes the case that Congress ignored its constitutional obligations to Black Americans.
The Court that decided Plessy
The U.S. Supreme Court Building opened in 1935, inscribed with the words "Equal Justice Under Law" which were inspired by the Equal Protection Clause.
The Court that decided Brown
Justice John Marshall Harlan II sought to interpret the Equal Protection Clause in the context of Section 2 of the same amendment

The Equal Protection Clause is part of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In fact, much of the integration in the 1960s happened in response not to Brown but to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.