Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46 (1947)

Commentary by Jon Roland

This case is a continuation of the drift away from the original intent of the 14th Amendment that began with the 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 sealed 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, and further compounded by the decision in Twining, which excluded the right against self-incrimination from incorporation under the 14th Amendment, and by the decision in Palko, which excluded the right against double jeopardy. Finally, however, we see in the dissent by Justice Black and the Appendix he provided 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".

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