14th Amendment: Battles for Equality

The 14th Amendment wrote the Declaration of Independence’s promise of freedom and equality into the Constitution. It transformed the Constitution forever. And it’s at the heart of what many scholars refer to as America’s “Second Founding.” Even so, the 14th Amendment is the focus of many of the most important constitutional debates (and Supreme Court cases) today. In many ways, the history of the modern Supreme Court is really a history of modern-day battles over the 14th Amendment’s meaning. Nearly every constitutional case that you care about today turns on the 14th Amendment.

Chavez v. Martinez (2003)

Is a suspect’s right against self-incrimination and to due process violated if he is subjected to coercive questioning while in custody, even if his statements were never used against him? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2003.

Grades 9-12
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Lesson Plans