Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018 - 5

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject

w w w.BERKSBAR.org

President's Message

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

Walking the Walk
in Stride with the
Fourteenth

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.

Joan E. London, 2018 President

O

n July 9, 2018, this country will observe the 150th
anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Section 1 of the
Fourteenth Amendment is comprised of 80 powerful words that
include the guarantees of "equal protection" and "due process
of law."
Adopted three years after the end of the Civil War, the
Amendment was intended to ensure full rights and citizenship
to the newly freed slaves and their descendants. Its Section 5
granted Congress the power to enforce its language through
legislation. This enforcement power ultimately led to the passage
of landmark legislation including the Civil Rights Act of 1964
and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Each had the goal of ending
practices by state actors which deprived individuals of the rights
guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Fourteenth Amendment was subsequently applied by
the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, concluding
that the racial segregation of public schools violated the equal
protection clause, and in Gideon v. Wainwright by ruling that
state courts were required under the due process clause of the
14th Amendment to provide legal counsel to indigent defendants
in non-capital criminal cases, guaranteeing the 6th Amendment's
right to a fair trial. And these are only two of the many cases
applying the 14th.
To bring meaning to those 80 powerful words, cases such as
Brown and Gideon demonstrate the importance of the judiciary
and of the attorneys who brought the cases. With that in mind,
our Bar Association's Mission Statement provides that we are
an organization that "strives... to support the community by ...
assuring access to justice." Likewise, our By-Laws, at Section

1.10, also speak of our duty to serve the Berks community by
making the legal services available, stating, "In the interest of
promoting the administration of justice, the Board of Directors
shall continue to provide public services in order to keep the legal
profession in high esteem, advance the interests of liberty and
justice, and provide legal services for the disadvantaged."
Continued on page 6

President London moderated the Batdorf Lecture on political
gerrymandering and congressional redistricting.

Spring 2018 | 5


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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018

Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018 - 1
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018 - 2
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018 - 3
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2018 - 4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyBar/BerksBarrister-Summer2017
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