You will search in vain in the Constitution of the United States … for that word ‘white,’ it is not there … The omission of this word — this phrase of caste — from our national charter, was not accidental, but intentional.
John Bingham, the father of the Fourteenth Amendment, helped put a guarantee of individual equality into the U.S. Constitution.

In case you missed it…

September 17 is Constitution Day. Over at our blog, From the Square, we came up with a short list of NYU Press books we think every American citizen should read—or at least keep on their bookshelf.

Brush up on your constitutional knowledge, and check a few of ‘em out!

Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Constitutional Action by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Jury duty is constitutional duty—and a core responsibility of citizenship! The first book written for jurors, Why Jury Duty Matters provides readers with an understanding of the constitutional value of jury duty. (Also, be sure to read the author’s excellent piece in The Atlantic on ways to the make the Constitution relevant to our daily lives.)

America’s Founding Son: John Bingham and the Invention of the Fourteenth Amendment by Gerard N. Magliocca

America’s Founding Son sheds light on the forgotten father of the Fourteenth Amendment, John Bingham—who helped put a guarantee of fundamental rights and equality to all Americans (not just white men) into the U.S. Constitution. 

The jury - it matters. Whether you show up as a senator or a slacker, you know what? You’re given the same rights and the same responsibilities. Right there in the jury room, it’s all leveled. It’s all there. What you do on the outside doesn’t matter. What matters is, you’re a citizen.
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, author of Why Jury Duty Matters