The fourteenth amendment to the american constitution was intended to protect peoples' rights and reduce abuse of power by government. In reality, the fourteenth amendment has the opposite effect.
Many people seem to believe that government has magic power to do anything, and a failure of the government to eliminate war, poverty, injustice, crime, pollution, inequality, disease, etc means that evil government leaders are refusing to use their magic power to solve problems. In reality, the power of government is limited by the capability of the government to enforce government policies. How can the federal government enforce the fourteenth amendment?
The fourteenth amendment does not say how it should be enforced. Perhaps the people who wrote the fourteenth amendment thought that the federal government should not enforce the fourteenth amendment at all, but should make the fourteenth amendment happen by magic.
If we consider the methods in which the federal government has enforced the fourteenth amendment in the past, most of the methods are not in the constitution, and are therefore unconstitutional if you believe that anything which is not in the constitution is unconstitutional. The federal government has used the military to prevent state government officials from enforcing laws which the federal government does not approve of. This implies that all states are under perpetual military occupation by the federal government, even though the constitution does not grant such a power to the federal government. One could also argue that the military should not undertake such actions without a declaration of war by congress. The federal government has threatened to fine or imprison state government officials who refuse to obey the federal government. The constitution does not grant this power to the federal government. The federal government has threatened to withhold money from various programs if states fail to obey the federal government. The constitution does not grant the federal government the power to create those programs.
Or the fourteenth amendment could be interpreted to grant to the federal government the power to enforce the fourteenth amendment. This power is undefined, so the federal government can claim that it is a very large power.
So either the fourteenth amendment is unenforcable, which is bad; or the fourteenth amendment grants vast undefined powers to the federal government, which is worse.
In Freedom and the Fourteenth Amendment; by Jacob G. Hornberger; published by the Future of Freedom Foundation in Freedom Daily; volume 16; number 11; november 2005; page 2-9; the original essay can probably be found at the Future of Freedom Foundation's website Jacob Hornberger says that the fourteenth amendment gives us two opportunities to have bad laws declared unconstitutional, because we can ask the state supreme court to declare the law unconstitutional, or we can ask the federal supreme court to declare the law unconstitutional. But this only applies to state laws. It does not apply to federal laws. The fourteenth amendment gives us two opportunities to eliminate bad state laws, but only one opportunity to eliminate bad federal laws.
If you do not like the policies of the government, you can move to somewhere outside the jurisdiction of the government. If you want to escape from a state government, you move to another state. If you want to escape from the federal government, you move to another country. You have to move further to escape from the federal government than to escape from a state government. Abuse of power by state governments is less bad than abuse of power by the federal government because it is easier to escape from state governments. Therefore, there should be more limits to the federal government than to the state governments.
The original american constitution placed more limits on the federal government than on the state governments. But the fourteenth amendment changed the constitution so that the limits on the state governments became the same as the limits on the federal government.
The judges of the supreme court are chosen by the president and congress. The president and congress will not chose supreme court judges who believe that the president and congress are abusing power. If the president and congress want to enact some policy, the president and congress will chose supreme court judges who will declare that that policy is constitutional, no matter what the constitution says. But even while the president and congress are abusing power, the president and congress want people to think that the president and congress are opposed to abuse of power. So the president and congress will choose supreme court judges who are oppose to abuse of power by state governments. The supreme court will be more tolerant of abuse of power by the federal government than of abuse of power by state governments. The federal government is more capable of evading its constitutional limits than the state governments. So the fourteenth amendment effectively places greater limits on the state governments than on the federal government, which is the reverse of what the constitution ought to do.
Before the fourteenth amendment was passed, there were fewer limits on state governments than on the federal government, so people who wanted government programs would lobby the state governments to enact the programs, because the programs were more likely to be constitutional if run by state governments. After the fourteenth amendment, the programs were more likely to be constitutional if run by the federal government, so the proponents of programs shifted their lobbying efforts to the federal government. The fourteenth amendment increased the demand for the federal government to enact programs, which resulted in more federal government programs. The effect of the fourteenth amendment was to transfer programs which helped the poor, provided subsidies to special interests, etc from the state governments to the federal government.
Transferring powers from state governments to the federal government reduces opportunities for individuals to escape from government programs which the individuals oppose. The final result of the fourteenth amendment is less freedom for individuals.
The best way to prevent abuse of power by state governments is to allow people to choose which state to live in, so that state governments must compete for citizens. And people should be allowed to escape from an abusive state government by seceding from the state and forming a new state.