U.S. Senator from Michigan Jacob M. Howard, author of the Citizenship Clause
Constitution of the United States
Rep. John Bingham of Ohio was the principal author of the Equal Protection Clause
Thurgood Marshall served as chief counsel in the landmark Fourteenth Amendment decision Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
Senate and House votes on the Fourteenth Amendment
Form of the Letter of Transmittal of the Fourteenth Amendment to the several states for its ratification

Gradually, various portions of the Bill of Rights have been held to be applicable to the state and local governments by incorporation through the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 and the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870.

- Incorporation of the Bill of Rights

The Supreme Court has ruled this clause makes most of the Bill of Rights as applicable to the states as it is to the federal government, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy.

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

24 related topics

Alpha

Supreme Court of the United States

Highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.

Highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.

The Court lacked its own building until 1935; from 1791 to 1801, it met in Philadelphia's City Hall.
The Royal Exchange, New York City, the first meeting place of the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Marshall (1801–1835)
The U.S. Supreme Court Building, current home of the Supreme Court, which opened in 1935.
The Hughes Court in 1937, photographed by Erich Salomon. Members include Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes (center), Louis Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Harlan Stone, Owen Roberts, and the "Four Horsemen" Pierce Butler, James Clark McReynolds, George Sutherland, and Willis Van Devanter, who opposed New Deal policies.
Justices of the Supreme Court with President George W. Bush (center-right) in October 2005. The justices (left to right) are: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, John Roberts, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Stephen Breyer
John Roberts giving testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 2005 hearings on his nomination to be chief justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg giving testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1993 hearings on her nomination to be an associate justice
The interior of the United States Supreme Court
The first four female justices: O'Connor, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan.
The current Roberts Court justices (since October 2020): Front row (left to right): Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. Back row (left to right): Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Percentage of cases decided unanimously and by a one-vote margin from 1971 to 2016
The present U.S. Supreme Court building as viewed from the front
From the 1860s until the 1930s, the court sat in the Old Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol.
Seth P. Waxman at oral argument presents his case and answers questions from the justices.
Inscription on the wall of the Supreme Court Building from Marbury v. Madison, in which Chief Justice John Marshall outlined the concept of judicial review

Under the White and Taft Courts (1910–1930), the court held that the Fourteenth Amendment had incorporated some guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the states (Gitlow v. New York), grappled with the new antitrust statutes (Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States), upheld the constitutionality of military conscription (Selective Draft Law Cases), and brought the substantive due process doctrine to its first apogee (Adkins v. Children's Hospital).

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.

Constitution of the United States

Supreme law of the United States of America.

Supreme law of the United States of America.

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.
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
x120px
"We the People" in an original edition
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
John Jay, 1789–1795
John Marshall, 1801–1835
Salmon P. Chase {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Chase Court, 1864–1873, in 1865 were Salmon P. Chase (chief Justice); Hon. Nathan Clifford, Maine; Stephen J. Field, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Hon. Samuel F. Miller, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Noah H. Swayne, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Judge Morrison R. Waite}}
William Howard Taft {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Taft Court, 1921–1930, in 1925 were James Clark McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft (chief justice), Willis Van Devanter, Louis Brandeis. Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone}}
Earl Warren {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Warren Court, 1953–1969, in 1963 were Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (chief justice); Stanley Reed; William O. Douglas. Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton}}
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
José Rizal
Sun Yat-sen

The Fourteenth Amendment (1868) granted United States citizenship to former slaves and to all persons "subject to U.S. jurisdiction".

This amendment, according to the Supreme Court's Doctrine of Incorporation, makes most provisions of the Bill of Rights applicable to state and local governments as well.

James Madison, drafter of the Bill of Rights, by John Vanderlyn

Due Process Clause

James Madison, drafter of the Bill of Rights, by John Vanderlyn

In United States constitutional law, a Due Process Clause is found in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, which prohibits arbitrary deprivation of "life, liberty, or property" by the government except as authorized by law.

The U.S. Supreme Court interprets these clauses broadly, concluding that they provide three protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings); substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws; and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

United States Bill of Rights

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke before Virginia's ratification convention in opposition to the Constitution.
George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress
James Madison, primary author and chief advocate for the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

The door for their application upon state governments was opened in the 1860s, following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The process is known as incorporation.

George Mason was the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted by the Fifth Virginia Convention on June 12, 1776.

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Establishment of religion, or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

Establishment of religion, or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

George Mason was the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted by the Fifth Virginia Convention on June 12, 1776.
James Madison, drafter of the Bill of Rights
The Maryland Toleration Act secured religious liberty in the English colony of Maryland. Similar laws were passed in the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. These laws stood in direct contrast with the Puritan theocratic rule in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies.
Thomas Jefferson's tombstone. The inscription, as he stipulated, reads "Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia."
A April 22, 1885, cartoon from the Puck magazine depicting an army of clergymen assaulting a fortress defended by newspaper editors including from Puck, while atop a hill in the background a statue labeled "Constitution" that states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" can be seen.
The Founding of Maryland (1634) depicts Father Andrew White, a Jesuit missionary in the left and colonists meeting the people of the Yaocomico branch of the Piscatawy Indian Nation in St. Mary's City, Maryland, the site of Maryland's first colonial settlement.
President Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 of "a wall of separation".
The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts
Bear Butte, in South Dakota, is a sacred site for over 30 Plains tribes.
Washington National Cathedral, the Episcopal cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. guarantees freedom of religion, and some churches in the U.S. take strong stances on political subjects.
Inscription of the First Amendment (December 15, 1791) in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes formulated the clear and present danger test for free speech cases.
Justice Louis Brandeis wrote several dissents in the 1920s upholding free speech claims.
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, plaintiff in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission
Justice Potter Stewart wrote that while he could not precisely define pornography, he "[knew] it when [he saw] it".
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. wrote the landmark decision New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, requiring the demonstration of "actual malice" in libel suits against public figures.
The Newseum's depiction of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution in Washington, D.C..
The leak of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg (pictured here in 2018) led to New York Times Co. v. United States (1971), a landmark press freedom decision.
Chief Justice Morrison Waite ruled in United States v. Cruikshank (1875) that the right of assembly was a secondary right to the right to petition.

Beginning with Gitlow v. New York (1925), the Supreme Court applied the First Amendment to states—a process known as incorporation—through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ideals that helped to inspire the Second Amendment in part are symbolized by the minutemen.

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms.

Ideals that helped to inspire the Second Amendment in part are symbolized by the minutemen.
Slave Patrols
Ketland brass barrel smooth bore pistol, common in Colonial America
Assortment of 20th century handguns
The justices who decided Heller

In McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) the Supreme Court ruled that state and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing upon this right.

Rawle, long before the concept of incorporation was formally recognized by the courts, or Congress drafted the Fourteenth Amendment, contended that citizens could appeal to the Second Amendment should either the state or federal government attempt to disarm them.

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.

Privileges or Immunities Clause

Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution.

Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 2 of 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.

Along with the rest of the Fourteenth Amendment, this clause became part of the Constitution on July 9, 1868.

The Privileges or Immunities Clause was perhaps originally intended to incorporate the first eight amendments of the Bill of Rights against the state governments, while also incorporating other constitutional rights against the state governments such as the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Iustitia ("Lady Justice") is a symbolic personification of the coercive power of a tribunal: a sword representing state authority, scales representing an objective standard and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial.

McDonald v. City of Chicago

Iustitia ("Lady Justice") is a symbolic personification of the coercive power of a tribunal: a sword representing state authority, scales representing an objective standard and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial.

McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that found that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms", as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and is thereby enforceable against the states.

Pertinent part of the English Bill of Rights, December 1689

Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments.

The Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments.

Pertinent part of the English Bill of Rights, December 1689
The Bill of Rights in the National Archives

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause applies to the states as well as to the federal government, but the Excessive Bail Clause has not been applied to the states.

In Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber,, the Supreme Court assumed arguendo that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause applied to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

United States v. Cruikshank

United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling that the Bill of Rights did not apply to private actors or to state governments despite the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Decades after Cruikshank, the Supreme Court began incorporating the Bill of Rights to apply to state governments.