I was watching the exchange yesterday between Sen. Hirono and Judge Kavanaugh about a case from Hawaii which struck down a vote which was to be conducted by only native Hawaiians. Kavanaugh stated that both the 14th and 15th amendments applied, because the 15th explicitly prohibits racial classifications on voting and the 14th Amendment “according to precedent” disallowed all restrictions based upon race.
I have mentioned this before and it does seem to be Supreme Court precedent. But how has the Court possibly reached this result?
Section One is always talked about, especially with regard to equal protection and due process. However, Section Two explicitly says that Supreme Court precedent is absolutely wrong. A state may prohibit the vote based upon race, subject to the penalty involved. It may prohibit the vote to women or children with no penalty.
It was therefore needed to pass the 15th amendment to prohibit a state from denying the vote based upon race, the 19th amendment to prohibit a state from denying the vote based upon gender, and the 26th amendment to a prohibit a state from denying the vote to those aged eighteen and above.
Why then, is the 14th amendment cited for such a font of rights when it explicitly allows such a denial and such unequal treatment?