U.S. Constitution-14th Amendment (July 9, 1868)

The Fourteenth Amendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens. The most commonly used -- and frequently litigated -- phrase in the amendment is "equal protection of the laws", which figures prominently in a wide variety of landmark cases, including Brown v. Board of Education (racial discrimination), Roe v. Wade (reproductive rights), Bush v. Gore (election recounts), Reed v. Reed (gender discrimination), and University of California v. Bakke (racial quotas in education).  

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws


The Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act, S. 447, passed the Senate on December 12, 2017. A related House Bill H.R.1226 was introduced in the House of Representatives. The texts of both bills S. 447 and H.R. 1226 were similar. Both Bills introduce the enforcement mechanism [of federal law] for the non-binding 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets and Related Issues.

The bills mandate the US Department of State to report to Congress on “countries of particular concern” regarding the progress on: 1) returning to the rightful owner any property wrongfully seized or transferred, including religious and communal properties; 2) providing property or compensation for the so-called heirless property in order to assist needy Holocaust survivors, to support Holocaust education, and for other purposes.

Public Law 115–171 115th Congress

An Act To require reporting on acts of certain foreign countries on Holocaust era assets and related issues.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act of 2017’’.


(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term ‘‘appropriate congressional committees’’ means— (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; (B) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; (C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and (D) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(2) COVERED COUNTRIES.—The term ‘‘covered countries’’ means participants in the 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference that are determined by the Secretary of State, or the Secretary’s designee, in consultation with expert nongovernmental organizations, to be countries of particular concern relative to the issues listed in subsection (b).

(3) WRONGFULLY SEIZED OR TRANSFERRED.—The term ‘‘wrongfully seized or transferred’’ includes confiscations, expropriations, nationalizations, forced sales or transfers, and sales or transfers under duress during the Holocaust era or the period of Communist rule of a covered country.

(b) REPORT.—Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees that assesses and describes the nature and extent of national laws and enforceable policies of covered countries regarding the identification and the return of or restitution for wrongfully seized or transferred Holocaust era assets consistent with, and evaluated with respect to, the goals and objectives of the 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference, including—

(1) the return to the rightful owner of any property, including religious or communal property, that was wrongfully seized or transferred;

(2) if return of any property described in paragraph (1) is no longer possible, the provision of comparable substitute Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act of 2017. May 9, 2018 [S. 447] VerDate Sep 11 2014 14:57 Nov 20, 2018 Jkt 079139 PO 00171 Frm 00001 Fmt 6580 Sfmt 6581 E:\PUBLAW\PUBL171.115 PUBL171 dkrause on DSKBC28HB2PROD with PUBLAWS PUBLIC LAW 115–171—MAY 9, 2018 132 STAT. 1289 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—S. 447: CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: Vol. 163 (2017): Dec. 12, considered and passed Senate. Vol. 164 (2018): Apr. 24, considered and passed House. Æ property or the payment of equitable compensation to the rightful owner in accordance with principles of justice and through an expeditious claims-driven administrative process that is just, transparent, and fair;

(3) in the case of heirless property, the provision of property or compensation to assist needy Holocaust survivors, to support Holocaust education, and for other purposes;

(4) the extent to which such laws and policies are implemented and enforced in practice, including through any applicable administrative or judicial processes; and

(5) to the extent practicable, the mechanism for and an overview of progress toward the resolution of claims for United States citizen Holocaust survivors and United States citizen family members of Holocaust victims.

(c) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that after the submission of the report described in subsection (b), the Secretary of State should continue to report to Congress on Holocaust era assets and related issues in a manner that is consistent with the manner in which the Department of State reported on such matters before the date of the enactment of the Act. Approved May 9, 2018.

Upon the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic we the representatives of 46 states listed below met this day, June 30, 2009 in Terezin, where thousands of European Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution died or were sent to death camps during World War II. We participated in the Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference organized by the Czech Republic and its partners in Prague and Terezin from 26-30 June 2009, discussed together with experts and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives important issues such as Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and other Victims of Nazi Persecution, Immovable Property, Jewish Cemeteries and Burial Sites, Nazi- Confiscated and Looted Art, Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property, Archival Materials, and Education, Remembrance, Research and Memorial Sites. We join affirming in this