Minority Report Repealed the 14th Amendment?

Here is a true legal dystopian future: the 14th Amendment was repealed to revoke US citizenship by birthright as a compromise in giving 10 million people not legally┬áin the United States amnesty in the Minority Report episode “The American Dream.”

The text of the 14th Amendment, Section 1, states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. 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; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The idea of repealing the 14th Amendment is terrifying. It is the Constitutional lynchpin enacted after the Civil War that underscores Equal Protection and Due Process rights applying to everyone in the United States. It is means to the majority of the Bill of Rights applying to the states. The legal world of Minority Reports sounds like a bloody nightmare, beyond arresting people for crimes that they have not yet committed.

Perhaps the repealed 14th Amendment was replaced was an Amendment that retained the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, only replacing the naturalized citizen clause. That might lesson the damage, but it would still leave people born in the United States who did not have any rights from citizenship.

Minority Report does not feature lawyers discussing Constitutional law, but it is a good bet that State Constitutions would fill in any gaps created by repealing the 14th Amendment, which would then give more reliance on the Full Faith and Credit and Privileges and Immunities Clauses of Article IV of the US Constitution in protecting the rights of citizens.

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.