The Cherokee Removal and the Fourteenth Amendment
Gerard N. Magliocca
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Duke Law Journal, Vol. 53, No. 3, December 2003
This Article sheds new light on the original understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment by explaining how its drafters were influenced by the events surrounding President Andrew Jackson's removal of the Cherokees from Georgia. Few now know that this tragedy was a catalyst for the rise of the modern abolitionist movement and helped shape its ideology on questions ranging from the free exercise of religion to the meaning of equality. Indeed, when the Fourteenth Amendment was under consideration its authors expressly invoked both the Removal and the Supreme Court's opinion in Worcester v. Georgia as guideposts for construing the new constitutional text. After reviewing the historical evidence supporting this connection, the Article concludes by exploring how this new understanding might be relevant for contemporary doctrinal questions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 119Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 30, 2006
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