Fifteenth Amendment

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Fifteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Section 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.

The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified by the states in 1870 and also gave Congress the power to enforce such rights against governments that sought to undermine this guarantee through the enactment of appropriate legislation. Enforcement was, however, difficult as states employed grandfather clauses and other eligibility requirements to maintain racial discrimination in the electoral process.


Elections; Voting.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The High Court on December 1, 2011 issued a Supplementary Rule Nisi seeking cause from respondents as to why the Court should not also hold unlawful section 4 of the Fifteenth Amendment Act, which likewise re-affirmed Islam as the state religion.
But such tests ha[d] been banned nationwide for over 40 years." (41) Chief Justice Roberts' next argued that the Fifteenth Amendment was "not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future." (42)
adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment as well as petitioning the Board of
(22) While giving a ringing endorsement in dicta to the "one pervading purpose" of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments as the "freedom of the slave race, the security and firm establishment of that freedom, and the protection of the newly made freeman and citizen from the oppressions of those who had formerly exercised unlimited dominion over him," (23) the Court in fact began a tradition of reading the amendments narrowly.
The Fifteenth Amendment achieved its purpose for a time and black voting participation and representation in the South increased rapidly.
of the Fifteenth Amendment 25 (1965); Alexander Keyssar, The Right to
But Reese, like Cruikshank, was based on the Court's understanding that racial animus was required where the federal government was seeking to penalize violations of Fifteenth Amendment voting rights.
(5) Scholars cite the text most often in connection with Stanton's criticism of the Fifteenth Amendment and her anger over women's exclusion from Reconstruction-era constitutional revision.
Their effect was to nullify, through violence, the Fifteenth Amendment, by turning black political activity and voting into something that required taking one's life into one's hands.
Some have argued that the Fifteenth Amendment (1870), which guaranteed the voting rights of black men, implicitly repealed the disenfranchisement provisions of the Fourteenth.
Spurred by the lingering controversy, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment, which duplicated many of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act, and the Fifteenth Amendment, which prohibited denying a citizen the right to vote based on race.