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14th Amendment The 14th amendment provided the backbone for the civil rights movement The civil rights movement was able to make major gains because it was able to make an argument for civil rights with the constitution on its side The amendment insures that everyone will be treated equally The civil rights movement and Earl Warren used the fourteenth amendment to make important advancements for civil rights Once the movement had proved the 14th amendment was being violated they gained the entire federal governments duty to protect their rights regardless of where they lived and sparked an old argument over states rights where the federal government was bound to win One of the most notorious lines from the constitution is found in section 1 of the 14th amendment Nor shall any state deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of the law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws This line is key to proving whether someones civil rights are being violated The word liberty which means to be free to think act or do anything one wants is what proved in the sixties that blacks were being treated unfairly For instance with the Woolworth stores that had refused seats for blacks who were buying food were by definition taking away their liberty to sit and eat at a public restaurant Hundreds of liberties similar to this one were being taken away from blacks in the south To fight these violations in civil rights the movement took a greatly valued piece of American literature and turned it into a tool against racism People had to choose whether they believed in America or segregation They made it no longer possible to believe in both the conflict turned into an issue of federal versus states rights Where the federal government had won long ago and the issue became only a question of
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