14th AMENDMENT: DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION
Prohibits states (not the fed gov't or private persons) from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process and equal protection of the law.
--> The 14th amendment applies only if there is action by a state or local gov't, gov't officer, or private individual whose behavior meets the requirements for state action.
--> Includes an enabling clause giving congress the power to adopt appropriate legislation to enforce the rights and guarantees provided by the 14th amendment. To adopt a valid law, congress must point to a history or pattern of state violation of such rights and adopt legislation that is congruent and proportional (ie, narrowly tailored) to solving the identified violation.
When congress is dealing with a type of discrimination that the USSC reviews using heightened scrutiny, congress will generally have more power to act.