photo of bald eagle's head looking right, brown and black background

Constitutional sections discussed in Section 2:

Article I, sections: 2, 4, 8 (First Naturalization clause), 9 (Titles of Nobility clause), 10 (States’ Titles clause) Article II, section 1      

Article III, section 1    

Article IV, sections: 2, 4    

Amendment I    

Amendment IX      

Amendment X               
Amendment XI    

Amendment XIV, sections: 1, 2    

Amendment XV    

Amendment XIX  

Amendment XXIV                                  
Amendment XXVI

Section 2 amends one clause in Article XIV, section 2 (Rebellion and Other Crimes clause).

It consists with all other relevant provisions.

Section 2 does not amend the text of any other clause.

We can give every citizen the right to join us in the civic responsibilities of the American way of life.

Ending Individual Voting Denial

Assessing the Amendment

This section actually amends the Constitution's text,

something that must be seriously considered.

The textual amendment consists with all relevant clauses

including the rest of Amendment XIV,

better in fact than the clause as it stands.

Amendment XIV, Section 2

"But when the right to vote [...] is denied

to any of the inhabitants of such State, 

being eighteen years of age, and citizens of the United States,            

or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime,

the basis of representation therein shall be reduced              

in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear      

to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State." 

This wording, permitting but not requiring denial or abridgment for crime or rebellion, acknowledges disagreement on these but anticipates state statutes and the courts ending them over time. The section punishes all other forms of abridgment and denial of suffrage as a grave violation, and the clause is easy to remove from the text without affecting meaning.

Because the Constitution never 
requires abridgment or denial for crime or rebellion, this section’s amendment of the clause is technically a minor one.

It removes a state power that states have been gradually letting go of anyway.

No state denies the vote to the rebellious today (although without amendment it can still be reinstated). The only laws remaining that deny the vote are for criminal conviction. Two states already meet this amendment's standard, no longer stripping the vote at conviction. Some states restore suffrage when a voter’s debt to society has been paid, and most others are considering it.​​

Image, Inspired Images