The Fourteenth Amendment's effect on Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution

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Before the Fourteenth Amendment, there was only a citizen of a State and a citizen of the United States. One born in a State of the Union, was, in general, a citizen of that particular State. As such he or she was entitled to the special privileges and immunities of that particular State, and was entitled to the common privileges and immunities of citizens of another State in which he or she was in, and had fundamental privileges and immunities recognized under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1.

A citizen of a State, under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution, before the Fourteenth Amendment, was recognized as a citizen of the United States, under international law. However, the Fourteenth Amendment transferred a citizen of the United States (with its common privileges and immunities) from Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution to Section 1, Clause 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment. A citizen of the United States is still recognized as such, under international law. A citizen of a State is not.

The solution was to create another citizen under the Constitution, which would be recognized under international law as such. The Supreme Court, in the Slaughterhouse Cases, decided to modified Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution, to give effect to the Fourteenth Amendment. One word was changed. In Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 “citizens in the several States” was changed to “citizens of the several States”.

Thus, there are now privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States at Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution. Privileges and immunities of a citizen of a State are to be found in the constitution and laws of a particular State. While privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States are located at Section 1, Clause 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Therefore, there is now a citizen of the United States and also a citizen of the several States.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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