ABC-CLIO/Greenwood - Reference

Equal Protection

Documents Decoded

by David L. Hudson Jr.


At the time that the Fourteenth Amendment and its Equal Protection Clause were enacted, the galleries in the Senate were segregated by race.

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Cover image for Equal Protection

June 2018


Pages 249
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Law
  Current Events and Issues/Politics and Government

This book uses primary sources to closely examine the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and to show how legal interpretations of it have had a profound impact on American life as we know it.

The Fourteenth Amendment addresses many aspects of American citizenship, including the rights of citizens. The most commonly used—and frequently litigated—phrase in the amendment is "equal protection of the laws." This phrase has figured prominently in a plethora of landmark cases in U.S. history dealing with a variety of issues, including Brown v. Board of Education (racial discrimination), Roe v. Wade (reproductive rights), Bush v. Gore (election recounts), Reed v. Reed (gender discrimination), University of California v. Bakke (racial quotas in college admissions), and Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage).

This book closely examines the history and development of the Equal Protection Clause and details the many ways in which it has shaped U.S. history. Selections show how the equal protection clause came into being in the post-Civil War era; feature seminal Supreme Court decisions on the nature and extent of applications of the equal protection clause in American life and law through the years; and include documents that consider the impact that the equal protection clause has had and may have on American society in the 21st century.


  • Illuminates the significance of formative primary documents through annotations
  • Includes primary documents ranging from Supreme Court decisions to presidential speeches
  • Chronologically organizes important events in the history and development of the Equal Protection Clause in a timeline
  • Provides a bibliography of valuable resources for further study of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause
Author Info

David L. Hudson Jr. is Professor of Law and Director of Academic Affairs and Legal Writing at Nashville School of Law. He serves as First Amendment Ombudsman for the Newseum Institute First Amendment Center. He is author, coauthor, or coeditor of more than 40 books, including Let The Students Speak: A History of the Fight for Free Expression in American Schools and The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment . He writes regularly for the ABA Journal and the American Bar Association's Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases.



"This is highly appropriate for undergraduates, high school students, and larger public libraries."Booklist

"This volume is very well written and is easily understood at all levels, from senior high to the average person. Highly recommended to all academic and public libraries."ARBA

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