Citizenship is the legal relationship between citizens and their government and country. Citizens owe their government loyalty, support, and service. The government owes the citizens the protection of constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty, property, and equal justice under law.
Incorporating three integral constitutional tenets – due process, equal protection, and privileges and immunities – the 14th Amendment was originally intended to secure rights for former slaves, but over the years, it has been expanded to protect all people. Justice Ginsburg discusses with students its importance.
This documentary examines the case Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) in which the Supreme Court held that noncitizens have due process rights under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. The Court said that unequal application of a law violated the rights of a Chinese immigrant.