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MAR 29

“Citizenship and the 14th Amendment – One Hundred and Fifty Years On”

Dr. Kurt Lash and Martha S. Jones will speak about the 14th Amendment that was forged in the chaos of the years which followed the Civil War, and was ratified in 1868. It is also the most oddly-constructed of the Constitution's twenty-seven amendments, since it contains not one, but five unrelated provisions. It is also the place where the Constitution addressed a question it had ignored for seventy-one years – who is a citizen of the United States? In the process, the 14th Amendment introduced language into that definition about the “privileges or immunities” of those citizens and their “equal protection” which has been the fuel of judicial argument ever since. Join us for a sesquicentennial review of one of the Civil War era’s greatest legal triumphs, and one of its most puzzling mysteries.


  • Dr. Kurt Lash, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in Law, University of Richmond School of Law, author of The Fourteenth Amendment and the Privileges or Immunities of American Citizenship (2014)
  • Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History, The Johns Hopkins University, author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018)

The event is free and open to the public. Visitors to campus may find parking in any of the lots on campus. Mara Auditorium, Master’s Hall is located near West Lincoln Avenue, across from the campus-dining hall.


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