Ratified on this date in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment mandates that states provide equal protection to all citizens.  It reads, ”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”.   Interpretation of these words have led to some of the most important Supreme Court cases over the last 100 years.  Although the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to provide full citizenship and rights to former slaves, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses has provided greater protection and rights to due process to all Americans.