Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building – Great Hall – 2nd Floor (LJ200-E)
10 First Street SE
ON DISPLAY FOR A LIMITED TIME
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Northern Republicans in Congress proposed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution that granted the newly freed slaves freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote, respectively. The 15th Amendment prohibited states from using race or previous condition of servitude as a basis for disfranchisement. It gave the Supreme Court a basis in which to hold state-sanctioned electoral devices that indirectly impeded the right of blacks to vote in violation of the constitution.