All persons

From The Atlantic in 2011:

In an interview with California Lawyer magazine, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to suggest that the Constitution does not protect women from gender-based discrimination. “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that,” said the famously conservative justice, adding, “If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.”

What does the 14th Amendment say?

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.

It’s a Reconstruction amendment, which made enslavement a violation of the Constitution.

The Atlantic quoted some reactions:

“The central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to guarantee equal citizenship and equality before the law for all citizens and for all persons,” Legal blogger Jack Balkin argues. “It does not simply ban discrimination based on race. The fact that the word race is not mentioned in the text (as it is in the fifteenth amendment) was quite deliberate. Scalia argues that the fourteenth amendment was not intended to prevent sex discrimination. That’s not entirely true.”

The two forms of discrimination were often linked at the time. Frederick Douglass was a feminist; the Grimké sisters were abolitionists.

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