At noon on Feb. 14, supporters of the U.S. Constitution will gather at the Vermont State House lawn for the third in a series of rallies to celebrate the Bill of Rights. Ratified in 1868, the 14th Amendment secured liberties to newly-emancipated slaves, guaranteeing all citizens “equal protection under the law.”
The 14th Amendment was one of three constitutional amendments resulting from the Civil War designed to fully eradicate slavery. The core language, crafted to protect former black slaves and ensure their full recognition as citizens, developed into a range of rights that are guaranteed under modern Constitutional law: “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.”
The event will celebrate this bedrock of liberty Feb. 14 at the Vermont State House, beginning at noon. The event is organized by the newly formed Vermont Liberty Network.
“Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, dissenting in Plessey v Ferguson, 1896.