1. When the Constitution was signed, there was some fear that it could lead to a repressive central government- so they passed the 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights, basic rights to protect citizens against abuse by the federal government. 2. But in America, there are two government: the federal, and the government of the state in which we live. The Bill of Rights only limits what the federal government can do to us; there are no protections against human and civil rights violations by state governments. And state laws are the ones that affect our lives much more directly: police matters, public works, real estate, auto regulations, domestic relations, wills, and civil lawsuits, among other aspects of daily life. 3. After the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted to prohibit slavery. But in the South and in the North, state legislatures passed hundreds of laws discriminating against blacks, such as voting, holding office, using public facilities, testifying in court, etc. So Congress proposed the Fourteenth Amendment, which included: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 4. How is an amendment ratified? Article 5: it does not become part of the Constitution unless it is ratified by three-quarters of the states (either the legislatures thereof, or in amendment conventions). The requisite number of states (28) ratified it in 1868. Maybe. 5. But- a. . When a fair vote was taken on it in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, it was rejected by the Southern states and all the border states. Failing to secure the necessary three-fourths of the states, the Republican party, which controlled Congress, passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867 which placed the entire South under military rule (designed to remove with "Military force'' the lawfully constituted State Legislatures of the 10 Southern States), and they were forced to ratify. b. The Joint Resolution proposing said amendment was not submitted to or adopted by a Constitutional Congress per Article I, Section 3, and Article V of the U. S. Constitution. c. The Joint Resolution was not submitted to the President for his approval as required by Article I, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution. d. When the State of Louisiana rejected the 14th Amendment on February 6, 1867, making the 10th state to have rejected the same, or more than one fourth of the total number of 36 states of the Union as of that date, thus leaving less than three fourths of the states possibly to ratify the same, the Amendment failed of ratification in fact and in law, and it could not have been revived except by a new Joint Resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives in accordance with Constitutional requirement. e. Ohio and New Jersey-withdrew support after it was ratified. So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: Was the Fourteenth Amendment legally and constitutionally ratified and enacted? And, what are the ramifications if it is ruled unconstitutional?