Equal protection up next on road trip

Peter Sagal’s motorcycle road trip takes us next to an examination of the 14th Amendment.

Sagal has produced a compelling four-part PBS series called “Constitution USA.” He rode his motorcycle to communities all across the country. He should have come to Historic Route 66 in Amarillo, where he would have found plenty of motorcycle brethren hanging out. But he didn’t.

Still, the next installment in “Constitution USA with Peter Sagal” will examine the constitutional amendment that guarantees rights for all American citizens.

You can see the preview of  “Created Equal” on this link.

The 14th Amendment is a particularly timely topic for “Constitution USA,” which will air 8 p.m. on KACV-TV. Why so timely? Because a lot of folks in power are arguing over whether the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, covers those who seek to enter into a same-sex marriage.

President Obama has declared his support for what is called “marriage equality,” joining Vice President Joe Biden and the legislatures and governors of several states. Texas doesn’t figure to jump onto the same-sex marriage bandwagon, given that voters here have amended the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.

But the 14th Amendment is worth examining even without the controversy of the moment.

This amendment does contain language not related directly to people’s rights, but it does spell out that “no State shall 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.”

And therein lies the key phrase of this critical amendment, which Sagal examines in the third of four parts to this compelling public television series.

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