Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78 (1908)

Commentary by Jon Roland

I generally concur with the dissenting opinion of Justice Harlan in this case. This is one of the most baneful cases in the history of the Supreme Court, because it ignored the evidence that the Framers of the 14th Amendment had intended it to both apply to the states all the rights recognized in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and to extend the jurisdiction of U.S. courts to cases involving those rights between a citizen and his state. See "Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment was to Protect All Rights". It was built on a non sequitur from the Slaughter-House cases, which reasonably rendered a decision by considering only those rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution that pertained to that case, to conclude that therefore the 14th Amendment did not incorporate the entire Bill of Rights. This was compounded by the decision in Hurtado, which positively declared a person accused of a crime by a state had no right to a grand jury indictment.

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