Sect. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Sect. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.If you take out the middle phrases, then slavery is illegal, but that is not what it says. Technically slavery would still be legal if it is a result of crime. Historically this covers two of the most common sources of slaves: Convicted criminals and debtors. Both groups received due process and entered slavery as punishment for their crimes. We still put murderers and thieves into situations of involuntary servitude. It is legal to draft people into the military. As a teacher I am required by law to remain at school until dismissed in the case of a major disaster. On the other hand we tend to forgive people who declare bankruptcy.
In reality the Constitution already contained the phrase that could have dealt with the slavery problem. It is found in Article 3, Section 3, paragraph 2.
2. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attained.The discussion is treason and how it will be punished. Notice that little phrase “corruption of blood.” In 1787 people knew what that meant. All we can say is, “Icky!” It makes us think of zombie movies. In reality it meant that you cannot make the children pay for the crimes of the parent. If this had been applied to slavery, the children of slaves would have been free.
So keep in mind that the courts could decide to bring back slavery. They ignore the constitution on other issues. For instance, the Second Amendment makes a clear statement:
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.And yet we have waiting periods, Brady Bills, limits on how many cartridges a magazine can hold and so forth. Why not decide that in the cases of loud-mouthed bloggers, slavery is perfectly acceptable. Or how about arresting your pastor for saying that God does not approve of homosexuality? Oh, wait, that is already on the books in some states.
Remember that they just want to make the world safe for everyone and they are here to help you.
homo unius libri