Student Blogger - #13Amend Live Blog: Antisubordination
Many speakers have sought to imbue the Thirteenth Amendment with a broad underlying principle, and Professor Rebecca Zietlow identified antisubordination as that principle. She focused on the precedents set forth by Congress, rather than by the courts. In this particular context, Professor Zietlow argued, legislative precedent has value because the Thirteenth Amendment was the first amendment to use an enforcement clause (§ 2) and because the framers of that amendment envisioned a broad grant of power. Congress acted then and since to effectuate an antisubordination principle. She gave several examples, of which I will list only a few. The Reconstruction Congress tried to help freed slaves enforce their rights, not only to remove slavery. The Anti-Peonage Act of 1867 acted against involuntary servitude regardless of race. Members of the New Deal Congress made arguments analogizing labor rights to freedom from slavery. And even in 2000, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.