15th Amendment: Right to Vote

Damoyee Neroes, US HIST 6, Mrs. Rodgers

What does the 15th Amendment state?

"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."


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

My Court Case Scenario

Media was a slave who went to court. She filed a suit against the Constitution to gain the right to vote. The Court laughed and simply stated slaves are not citizens and cannot vote. Media lost her case and remained a slave.

Which court case was upheld in the Judicial Branch?

Dred Scott, a slave, filed suit against his owner to obtain freedom for himself, his wife, and their children in 1846. Scott claimed to be a citizen of the state of Missouri and assumed his right as a citizen, including the right to sue in federal court. The Court stated that according to the Constitution, a slave of African descent could not be a citizen of the U.S. and therefore could not file a suit in federal court. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was unconstitutional. In addition, the Court ruled that slaves were property; therefore, Scott remained his property and could not claim freedom...or have a right to vote.