Thoughts from Maharrey Head #41: The Incorporation Doctrine and the 14th Amendment

“10 Minutes Closer to Freedom”


In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head,  I explain the incorporation doctrine and the original intent of the 14th Amendment.

More than five decades after the ratification the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court suddenly pulled an entirely new doctrine from it – virtually out of thin air. The court held that 14th Amendment applies the Bill of Rights to the state governments. Known as the “incorporation doctrine,” this principle empowers federal courts to police the states for “violations of rights” and essentially veto state laws.

The incorporation doctrine, along with the SCOTUS’ redefining of “equal protection” and “due process,” utterly destroys the American constitutional structure created by the founding generation. It places virtually unlimited power in the hands of nine politically appointed lawyers. It obliterates state sovereignty.

The 14th Amendment was never intended to place so much power in the hands of the federal judiciary. In fact, the original intent of the amendment, as it was explained at the time, was relatively limited in scope – intended only to ensure newly freed slaves could exercise the basic rights of citizenship.

In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I explain the original intent of the 14th Amendment as at was characterized by its supporters.

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SHOW NOTES AND LINKS

The 14th Amendment presents an extremely complex subject that really can’t be covered in a 10 minute podcast. The following resources will provide more in-depth analysis.

The Incorporation Doctrine and the Bill of Rights

Incorporation: A Fool’s Game

Raoul Berger is the leading scholar on the 14th Amendment and this is arguably the definitive work on the subject. Government by Judiciary (Studies in Jurisprudence and Legal Hist)

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