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Infinite Hope and Finite Disappointment details the aspirations and promises of the 14th Amendment in the historical, legal, and sociological context within which it was framed. Part of the Reconstruction Amendments collectively known as "The Second Founding," the 14th Amendment fundamentally altered the 1787 Constitution to protect individual rights and altered the balance of power between the national government and the states. The book also shows how initial Supreme Court interpretations of the Amendment's reach hindered its applicability. Finally, the contributors investigate the current impact of the 14th Amendment.

Contents Infinite Hope: The Framers as First Interpreters The Antebellum Political Background of the Fourteenth Amendment, Garrett Epps The Historical Context of the Fourteenth Amendment, Paul Finkelman The 39th Congress (1865-1867) and the 14th Amendment: Some Preliminary Perspectives, Richard L. Aynes The Union as It Wasn't and the Constitution as It Isn't: Section Five and Altering the Balance of Powers, Elizabeth Reilly Finite Disappointment: The Supreme Court as First Interpreter Justice Miller's Reconstruction: The Slaughter-House Cases, Health Codes, and Civil Rights in New Orleans, 1861-1873, Michael A. Ross Rebuilding the Slaughter-House: The Cases' Support for Civil Rights, David S. Bogen Why "Privileges or Immunities:" An Explanation of the Framers' Interpretation and the Supreme Court's Misinterpretation, William J. Rich The Legacy of Slaughter-House, Bradwell, and Cruikshank in Constitutional Interpretation, Wilson R. Huhn Never Losing Infinite Hope: The People as First Interpreters The Use of the Fourteenth Amendment by Salmon P. Chase in the Trial of Jefferson Davis, C. Ellen Connally "Horror of a Woman": Myra Bradwell, the 14th Amendment, and the Gendered Origins of Sociological Jurisprudence, Gwen Hoerr Jordan Fourteenth Amendment Citizenship and the Reconstruction-Era Black Public Sphere, James W. Fox, Jr.

This title is part of the &Law series sponsored by the University of Akron School of Law.



Publication Date

Fall 9-9-2011


University of Akron Press


Akron, Ohio


Constitutional Law, Reconstruction, Supreme Court


Constitutional Law | Legal

Infinite Hope and Finite Disappointment: The Story of the First Interpreters of the Fourteenth Amendment



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