The Volokh Conspiracy

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Quick—Do You Remember the Text of Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment?

"Ginsburg Forgets 14th Amendment, Audience Has To Give Her Constitution," says a Daily Wire headline -- but the story doesn't mention this was section 2,


The Daily Wire reports:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg forgot the contents of the 14th Amendment while speaking to the National Woman's Party in late August and needed an audience member to give her a copy of the Constitution so she could remember what it said.

The incident happened on August 26, 2018, when Ginsburg was asked to talk about the Equal Rights Amendment ….

Now if Justice Ginsburg had forgotten what most people (or at least most lawyers and judges) think of when they think of the Fourteenth Amendment—that it aims to secure equal protection and due process—that might be noteworthy. But it turns out that what she wanted was the text of section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment, though the body of the article doesn't mention that; you need to watch the embedded video to recognize that. (From the video, it's clear that she knew the substance of the section, but wanted the precise language, as lawyers often do.)

Quick, do you remember the text of section 2, and in particular the portion that Justice Ginsburg had in mind? If you don't, do you think that says much about you?