Constitution Daily

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Podcast: The 15th Amendment and the right to vote

February 4, 2016 by NCC Staff


President Lyndon B. Johnson gives his remarks before signing the Voting Rights Act. (credit: LBJ Library)
President Lyndon B. Johnson gives remarks before signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (credit: LBJ Library)

The 15th Amendment was ratified on February 3, 1870—the last of the three Reconstruction Amendments.

It says: “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.”

It goes on to say: “The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Joining We the People to discuss the history and meaning of the 15th Amendment are two constitutional experts who wrote about it for the Center’s Interactive Constitution.

Richard Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at the New York University School of Law.Bradley Smith is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School.Download this episode (right click and save)

This show was engineered by Jason Gregory and produced by Nicandro Iannacci. Research was provided by Josh Waimberg and Danieli Evans. The host of We the People is Jeffrey Rosen.

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