Friday, September 27, 2013

The Father of the 14th Amendment -

John BinghamRepresentative John Bingham of Cadiz, Ohio, should be but is not revered as a Founder.  His name should be as familiar as James Madison as a source of understanding of the Constitution.  He was the drafter and architect of the 14th Amendment and its promise of equal protection of the laws.  Embrace of it was one of the the terms on which the defeated secessionist states could return representatives to the Congress.  But just as the post-civil war amendments were narrowed, distorted, and ignored, so was Bingham's contribution to refounding our nation on the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the  Bill of Rights.  He was - as Gerard Magliocca describes him in his fine new biography  - an American Founding Son.

The Father of the 14th Amendment -
by Gerard N. Magliocca

"In September 1863, the Ohio politician John Bingham was at the lowest point of his career. He had once been among the fastest-rising stars in American politics. Nine years earlier, he was among the first group of Republicans elected to the House of Representatives. Shortly after arriving in Washington, he established himself as one of the leading congressional voices against slavery. He was one of the new President Lincoln’s most steadfast supporters and a key member of the House’s pro-war caucus...."

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