“A Day of Constitutional Reckoning Approaches; Section 2 of the 14th Amendment was designed to strip congressional districts from states that disenfranchise voters. It’s never been implemented.”

Michael Meltsner for TAP:

This month, a special three-judge federal district court, and the Supreme Court eventually, will be asked to resurrect 135 words of the Constitution that have never been enforced, even though they were specifically intended to ensure all Americans could vote free of only the most minor government regulation.

Though few even know of its existence, Section 2 of the 14th Amendment is perfectly clear. It provides that, if any state abridges the franchise of males over 21, “except for participation in rebellion, or other crime,” that state loses the equivalent population numbers counted to determine representatives in Congress. Subsequent amendments to the Constitution erased the gender and age limitations, but the core meaning of Section 2 remains intact.

Why is this case, styled Citizens for Constitutional Integrity v. Census Bureau, so important? Because a victory for the plaintiffs would, by overcoming 155 years of indifference, lead to a major shift in the composition of the House of Representatives.

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