15th Amendment: Right to Vote Not Denied by Race

As part of the National Constitution Center’s 27 Amendments (In 27 Days) project, each day we will look at a constitutional amendment. Through partnerships with leading scholars and universities, government agencies, media outlets, and more, the National Constitution Center will profile one amendment each day throughout the month of February.

theconstitutionSection 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Synopsis:

This amendment was designed to protect the right of African-Americans to vote and has served as the foundation for such legislation as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Source:  U.S. Senate

Resources:

1. The Library of Congress Constitution Annotated. Contains a detailed history of the amendment, along with past and recent court cases. Here is a link to the section on the 15th Amendment. Here are explanations from the LOC that are in an online-friendly format from FindLaw:

2. Cornell Legal Information Institute. Includes information from Wex, a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts.

3. The Library of Congress has a list of primary documents related to the 14th Amendment at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/15thamendment.html

Learn more about this project at the Constitution Center’s website at: constitutioncenter.org/experience/programs-initiatives/27-amendments-in-27-days/

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