Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
One of the amendments that the Senate refused to accept—declared by Madison to be
the most valuable of the whole list1—read:
The equal rights of conscience, the freedom of speech or of the press, and the right of trial by jury in criminal cases shall not be infringed by any State.2 In spite of this rejection, the contention that the Bill of Rights – or at least the first eight amendments—was applicable to the states was repeatedly pressed upon the Supreme Court. By a long series of decisions, beginning with the opinion of Chief Justice Marshall in Barron v. Baltimore,3 the argument was consistently rejected. Nevertheless, the enduring vitality of natural law concepts encouraged renewed appeals for judicial protection through application of the Bill of Rights.4