On Fox & Friends, co-host Clayton Morris labeled the 14th Amendment the “anchor baby amendment.” This is part of a campaign by the right-wing media to change the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment is actually the amendment that forms the basis for many of the rights Americans enjoy today, including the right to desegregated public schools; the right to marry someone of a different race; and the requirement that states respect the right to keep and bear arms.
Trivializing the 14th Amendment as the “anchor baby amendment” is just sad. The 14th Amendment is actually the amendment that added the Equal Protection Clause, state Due Process Clause, national Privileges and Immunities Clause, and the citizenship clause to the Constitution.
As such, the 14th Amendment is the first time the notion of equality was explicitly included in the Constitution and is the basis for many of the constitutional rights that we all take for granted.
Here are just a few of the important decisions the Supreme Court has made under the 14th Amendment that Morris dismisses with the phrase “anchor baby amendment”:
- Segregated schools are unconstitutional (Brown v. Board of Education)
- Bans on interracial marriage are unconstitutional (Loving v. Virginia)
- Discrimination on the basis of sex is generally unconstitutional (Craig v. Boren)
- Legislative districts must be equally apportioned, i.e., one person, one vote (Reynolds v. Sims)
- The Constitution has a right to privacy, and that right means states may not outlaw access to birth control (Griswold v. Connecticut)
- States, like the federal government, generally must seek a warrant before searching your house (Mapp v. Ohio)
- States, like the federal government, must provide lawyers to criminal defendants (Gideon v. Wainright)
- States, like the federal government, must abide by the Second Amendment individual right to bear arms (McDonald v. City of Chicago)
- States may not pass a law criminalizing homosexual sex between consenting adults (Lawrence v. Texas)