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# The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified

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The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 14 Jun 2020, 06:19
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Project RC Butler 2020 - Participate and win GMAT Club Tests.
Passage # 150, Date: 14-Jun-2020
This post is a part of Project RC Butler 2020. Click here for Details

1994 10 SECTION A 17-24

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1868, prohibits state governments from denying citizens the “equal protection of the laws.” Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction. This declaration, which was echoed in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, was designed primarily to counter the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people in the United States could be denied citizenship. The act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who argued that the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, did not provide Congress with the authority to extend citizenship and equal protection to the freed slaves. Although Congress promptly overrode Johnson’s veto, supporters of the act sought to ensure its constitutional foundations with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The broad language of the amendment strongly suggests that its framers were proposing to write into the Constitution not a laundry list of specific civil rights but a principle of equal citizenship that forbids organized society from treating any individual as a member of an inferior class. Yet for the first eight decades of the amendment’s existence, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the amendment betrayed this ideal of equality. In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, for example, the Court invented the “state action” limitation, which asserts that “private” decisions by owners of public accommodations and other commercial businesses to segregate their facilities are insulated from the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

After the Second World War, a judicial climate more hospitable to equal protection claims culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Two doctrines embraced by the Supreme Court during this period extended the amendment’s reach. First, the Court required especially strict scrutiny of legislation that employed a “suspect classification,” meaning discrimination against a group on grounds that could be construed as racial. This doctrine has broadened the application of the Fourteenth Amendment to other, nonracial forms of discrimination, for while some justices have refused to find any legislative classification other than race to be constitutionally disfavored, most have been receptive to arguments that at least some nonracial discriminations, sexual discrimination in particular, are “suspect” and deserve this heightened scrutiny by the courts. Second, the Court relaxed the state action limitation on the Fourteenth Amendment, bringing new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach.

1. ​Which of the following best describes the main idea of the passage?

(A) By presenting a list of specific rights, framers of the Fourteenth Amendment were attempting to provide a constitutional basis for broad judicial protection of the principle of equal citizenship.
(B) Only after the Supreme Court adopted the suspect classification approach to reviewing potentially discriminatory legislation was the applicability of the Fourteenth Amendment extended to include sexual discrimination.
(C) Not until after the Second World War did the Supreme Court begin to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment in a manner consistent with the principle of equal citizenship that it expresses.
(D) Interpreters of the Fourteenth Amendment have yet to reach consensus with regard to what its framers meant by the equal protection clause.
(E) Although the reluctance of judges to extend the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment to nonracial discrimination has betrayed the principle of equal citizenship, the Supreme Court’s use of the state action limitation to insulate private activity from the amendment’s reach has been more harmful.

2. The passage suggests that the principal effect of the state action limitation was to

(A) allow some discriminatory practices to continue unimpeded by the Fourteenth Amendment
(B) influence the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v, Board of Education
(C) provide expanded guidelines describing prohibited actions
(D) prohibit states from enacting laws that violated the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
(E) shift to state governments the responsibility for enforcement of laws prohibiting discriminatory practices

3. The author’s position regarding the intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment would be most seriously undermined if which of the following were true?

(A) The framers had anticipated state action limitations as they are described in the passage.
(B) The framers had merely sought to prevent discriminatory acts by federal officials.
(C) The framers were concerned that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 would be overturned by the Supreme Court.
(D) The framers were aware that the phrase “equal protection of the laws” had broad implications.
(E) The framers believed that racial as well as non-racial forms of discrimination were unacceptable.

4. ​According to the passage, the original proponents of the Fourteenth Amendment were primarily concerned with

(A) detailing the rights afforded by the principle of equal citizenship
(B) providing support in the Constitution for equal protection for all citizens of the United States
(C) closing a loophole that could be used to deny individuals the right to sue for enforcement of their civil rights
(D) asserting that the civil rights protected by the Constitution included nonracial discrimination as well as racial discrimination
(E) granting state governments broader discretion in interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1866

5. ​​The author implies that the Fourteenth Amendment might not have been enacted if

(A) Congress’ authority with regard to legislating civil rights had not been challenged
(B) the framers had anticipated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education
(C) the framers had believed that it would be used in deciding cases of discrimination involving non-racial groups
(D) most state governments had been willing to protect citizens’ civil rights
(E) its essential elements had not been implicit in the Thirteenth Amendment

6. ​​According to the passage, which of the following most accurately indicates the sequence of the events listed below?

I.​Civil Rights Act of 1866
II.​Dred Scott v. Sandford
III.​Fourteenth Amendment
IV.​Veto by President Johnson

(A) I, II, III, IV
(B) I, IV, II, III
(C) I, IV, III, II
(D) II, I, IV, III
(E) III, II, I, IV

7. ​​Which of the following can be inferred about the second of the two doctrines referred to in lines 39-41 of the passage?

(A) It caused some justices to rule that all types of discrimination are prohibited by the Constitution.
(B) It shifted the focus of the Supreme Court from racial to nonracial discrimination.
(C) It narrowed the concern of the Supreme Court to legislation that employed a suspect classification.
(D) It caused legislators who were writing new legislation to reject language that could be construed as permitting racial discrimination.
(E) It made it more difficult for commercial businesses to practice racial discrimination.

Originally posted by pathy on 17 Jan 2020, 19:30.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 14 Jun 2020, 06:19, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2020, 10:01
how 2nd doctrine supports option E of question 7?
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Joined: 27 Jan 2017
Posts: 19
Re: The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified  [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2020, 12:28
3
1. Which of the following best describes the main idea of the passage?

(A) By presenting a list of specific rights, framers of the Fourteenth Amendment were attempting to provide a constitutional basis for broad judicial protection of the principle of equal citizenship.
discussed only in para 1
(B) Only after the Supreme Court adopted the suspect classification approach to reviewing potentially discriminatory legislation was the applicability of the Fourteenth Amendment extended to include sexual discrimination.
Does not answer vital questions such as why was the Fourteenth Amendment introduced? Discusses extension of Fourteenth amendment from para 3
(C) Not until after the Second World War did the Supreme Court begin to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment in a manner consistent with the principle of equal citizenship that it expresses.
Not until after the Second World War did the Supreme Court begin to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment : clearly stated in Para 3 “After the Second World War, a judicial climate more hospitable to equal protection claims culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” discusses the principle or intent behind the Fourteenth amendment and “Not until WW2” refers to the scenarios where it was not exercised as per the original principle (“principle of equal citizenship that it expresses” ). Sums up the entire passage. Thus, correct choice.
(D) Interpreters of the Fourteenth Amendment have yet to reach consensus with regard to what its framers meant by the equal protection clause.
This is not discussed throughout the passage and does not convey the main idea. Also, it is stated in para 1 that “Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction.”
(E) Although the reluctance of judges to extend the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment to nonracial discrimination has betrayed the principle of equal citizenship, the Supreme Court’s use of the state action limitation to insulate private activity from the amendment’s reach has been more harmful.
Both consequences have been highlighted in Para 3 but not weighed against each other. Which one is more harmful has not been stated and this option does not comprehensively cover all the aspects of the passage.

2. The passage suggests that the principal effect of the state action limitation was to

(A) allow some discriminatory practices to continue unimpeded by the Fourteenth Amendment
Para 2 states that “Yet for the first eight decades of the amendment’s existence, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the amendment betrayed this ideal of equality. In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, for example, the Court invented the “state action” limitation, which asserts that “private” decisions by owners of public accommodations and other commercial businesses to segregate their facilities are insulated from the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.” Thus, the action limitation was a provision to violate the rights guaranteed against discrimination (principle reason behind the amendment). Thus, this is the correct choice.

(B) influence the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v, Board of Education
Para 3 : “a judicial climate more hospitable to equal protection claims culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Not related to state limitation.

(C) provide expanded guidelines describing prohibited actions
Not stated, rather it was to violate the provision against discrimination and intent of Civil rights act and Fourteenth Amendment

(D) prohibit states from enacting laws that violated the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
On the contrary, it enabled state to enact laws that violated the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 186

(E) shift to state governments the responsibility for enforcement of laws prohibiting discriminatory practices
Not stated. Incorrect choice.

3. The author’s position regarding the intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment would be most seriously undermined if which of the following were true?

This is a WEAKEN question so we have to consider Para 1 : “The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1868, prohibits state governments from denying citizens the “equal protection of the laws.” Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction.”

(A) The framers had anticipated state action limitations as they are described in the passage.
This would not undermine, rather it would strengthen the author’s position regarding the intent of the farmers

(B) The framers had merely sought to prevent discriminatory acts by federal officials.
Farmers objective was to safeguard Constitutional rights against discrimination (para 1 further highlights demand for equal rights free of racial discrimination). Thus, if this was true that the farmers merely sought to prevent discriminatory acts by federal officials, they would not have demanded broader constitutional rights to safeguard citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction. Thus, correct choice

(C) The framers were concerned that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 would be overturned by the Supreme Court.
This would not undermine, rather it would strengthen the author’s position regarding the intent of the farmers

(D) The framers were aware that the phrase “equal protection of the laws” had broad implications.
This would not undermine, rather it would strengthen the author’s position regarding the intent of the farmers

(E) The framers believed that racial as well as non-racial forms of discrimination were unacceptable.
This would not undermine, rather it would strengthen the author’s position regarding the intent of the farmers

4. According to the passage, the original proponents of the Fourteenth Amendment were primarily concerned with

Para 1: “Although precisely what the framers of the amendment meant by this equal protection clause remains unclear, all interpreters agree that the framers’ immediate objective was to provide a constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction.”
Para 2: “The broad language of the amendment strongly suggests that its framers were proposing to write into the Constitution not a laundry list of specific civil rights but a principle of equal citizenship that forbids organized society from treating any individual as a member of an inferior class”

(A) detailing the rights afforded by the principle of equal citizenship
Incorrect choice.

(B) providing support in the Constitution for equal protection for all citizens of the United States
Correct, corroborated by the highlighted excerpts from Para 1 and 2

(C) closing a loophole that could be used to deny individuals the right to sue for enforcement of their civil rights
Incorrect choice.

(D) asserting that the civil rights protected by the Constitution included nonracial discrimination as well as racial discrimination
Incorrect. (non racial discrimination aspects are discussed in para 3, the racial discrimination did forge the path for farmers ie original proponents to constitutionalize equal rights)

(E) granting state governments broader discretion in interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1866
This is contrary to the intention of the farmers ie original proponents to constitutionalize equal rights

5. The author implies that the Fourteenth Amendment might not have been enacted if

From Para 1 “constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons born in the United States and subject to United States jurisdiction. This declaration, which was echoed in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, was designed primarily to counter the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people in the United States could be denied citizenship. The act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who argued that the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, did not provide Congress with the authority to extend citizenship and equal protection to the freed slaves. Although Congress promptly overrode Johnson’s veto, supporters of the act sought to ensure its constitutional foundations with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
We know that Congress’ authority with regards to legislating civil rights had been challenged to constitutionalize and safeguard the interest of farmers to seek equal rights under the Fourteenth amendment.
Thus option A is the correct choice .
(A) Congress’ authority with regard to legislating civil rights had not been challenged
(B) the framers had anticipated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education
(C) the framers had believed that it would be used in deciding cases of discrimination involving non-racial groups
(D) most state governments had been willing to protect citizens’ civil rights
(E) its essential elements had not been implicit in the Thirteenth Amendment

6. According to the passage, which of the following most accurately indicates the sequence of the events listed below?

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1868
constitutional warrant for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed the citizenship of all persons
This declaration (ie Civil Rights Act of 1866), which was echoed in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, was designed primarily to counter the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people in the United States could be denied citizenship.
So, Dred Scott v. Sandford occurred before and gave rise to Civil Rights Act of 1866.
The act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who argued that the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, did not provide Congress with the authority to extend citizenship and equal protection to the freed slaves. Although Congress promptly overrode Johnson’s veto, supporters of the act sought to ensure its constitutional foundations with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.
During Dred Scott v. Sandford President Johnson exercised Veto power aligned with the act (Civil Rights Act of 1866)
Dred Scott v. Sandford> Civil Rights Act of 1866> Veto by President Johnson > Fourteenth Amendment , thus, option D

I.Civil Rights Act of 1866
II.Dred Scott v. Sandford
III.Fourteenth Amendment
IV.Veto by President Johnson

(A) I, II, III, IV
(B) I, IV, II, III
(C) I, IV, III, II
(D) II, I, IV, III
(E) III, II, I, IV

7. Which of the following can be inferred about the second of the two doctrines referred to in lines 39-41 of the passage?
Para 3 “Second, the Court relaxed the state action limitation on the Fourteenth Amendment, bringing new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach.”

(A) It caused some justices to rule that all types of discrimination are prohibited by the Constitution.
(B) It shifted the focus of the Supreme Court from racial to nonracial discrimination.
(C) It narrowed the concern of the Supreme Court to legislation that employed a suspect classification.- first doctrine not second
(D) It caused legislators who were writing new legislation to reject language that could be construed as permitting racial discrimination.
(E) It made it more difficult for commercial businesses to practice racial discrimination.- new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach.”
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Re: The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2020, 06:20
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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Re: The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2020, 01:16
pankaj741 wrote:
how 2nd doctrine supports option E of question 7?

the second doctrine's main focus was to "bring new forms of private conduct within the amendment’s reach"
Re: The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified   [#permalink] 15 Jun 2020, 01:16