What Is the 14th Amendment?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 3, 2020 12:23:02 AM ET

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that those people born in or naturalized by the United States are citizens of the United States and the state where they live. They are therefore entitled to the protection of the law and cannot be denied the privileges or immunities due them.

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This amendment means that all males 21 and older are to be counted as whole persons in the determination of representation in Congress from the state in which they live. The amendment was ratified during Reconstruction on July 9, 1868. It is one of three Reconstruction amendments, along with the 13th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.