Enforcement of 15th

The 15th Amendment followed the other Reconstruction Amendments in granting Congress the power to enforce its provisions. While the original Constitution left the issue of voting to the states, this section provided a key role for Congress to protect African Americans from racial discrimination in voting—particularly in the white South.

Jan 10, 1869
Boutwell proposes suffrage amendment in House

The right of any citizen of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of the race, color, or previous condition of slavery of any citizen or class of citizens of the United States. The Congress shall have power to enforce by proper legislation the provisions of this article.

Jan 22, 1869
Henderson proposes suffrage amendment in Senate

No State shall deny or abridge the right of its citizens to vote and hold office on account of race, color, or previous condition. The Congress by appropriate legislation, may enforce the provisions of this article.

Feb 25, 1869
15th Amendment Final Text

Section One: 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 Two: The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.