Politico – “The U.S. Constitution is famously short—a mere 7,591 words, including its 27 amendments. That makes it all the more remarkable that 110 of those words have been, in effect, lost to the ages. These forgotten words form Section 2 of the 14th Amendment, which was designed to guard against the infringement of voting rights. The lost provision is simple: States that deny their citizens the right to vote will have reduced representation in the House of Representatives. I bet you’ve never heard of that part of our founding document. That’s because, throughout U.S. history, legal ambiguities and confusion over implementation authorities have kept this provision from realizing its potential. But there are ways to put it to work right now. And there’s no better time. From widespread closure of polling locations and expanding imposition of voter identification laws to escalating purges of voter rolls, assaults on the right to vote nationwide illustrate that we need these lost words back, urgently. The 14th Amendment is divided into five sections, all aimed at protecting civil rights in the wake of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Section 2 states:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.