United States Constitution

PREAMBLE : We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution



Amendment 14: Section 3

Text of Constitution:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

The 'Travis Translation' of Constitution:

No one can be a Senator, Representative, Elector or officer of the United States — or United States military officer, or member of a State Legislature, or a Governor, or a judge of any State — if they took an oath to support the Constitution and then took part in a rebellion against the United States, or gave aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. But Congress can change this with a two ­thirds vote.

Rebels as Government Officials Important Cases
Another section dealing directly with the aftermath of the Civil War, section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits those who had “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same [United States], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from serving in the government. It was designed to keep the federal and state governments free of those who had broken the country apart. However, its effect wound up being relatively minor, as Congress did eventually take advantage of the allowance in the amendment that gives Congress the authority, “by a vote of two-thirds of each House, [to] remove such disability.”