24th Amendment Timeline

Timeline created by pmsporrer
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    After Congress passed the 15th Amendment, which gave all men the right to vote, there was some opposition toward it. These oppositions mainly came from the South. They did not want African-Americans to vote, so to try and stop them from doing so, many Southern states established poll taxes. Yet, these poll taxes also deterred poor white voters from voting. Source: http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-24th-amendment-definition-summary-history-court-cases.html
  • 11 states enact Poll Tax

    11 states enact Poll Tax
    By 1902, all eleven states of the former Confederacy (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee) had enacted a poll tax. Many also used other provisions; such as literacy or comprehension tests. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
  • Breedlove vs. Suttles

    Breedlove vs. Suttles
    Breedlove vs Suttles is a United States Supreme Court decision stating that requiring the payment of a poll tax in order to vote in state elections is constitutional. Nolan Breedlove declined to pay the tax and was not allowed to register to vote. He filed a lawsuit challenging the Georgia law. Earl Suttles was the defendant in the case. He was a tax collector. Source: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/302/277/
  • Discussion in Congress

    Discussion in Congress
    In Congress, legislation to end poll taxes began to be introduced every year. Many members of Congress said that these poll taxes were already outlawed under the 14th and 15th Amendments. However, it was agreed upon that writing an amendment that specifically made poll taxes illegal would be a stronger statement and have more everlasting effects. Source: http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-24th-amendment-definition-summary-history-court-cases.html
  • Senate came close to passing bill

    Senate came close to passing bill
    The result of Senate trying to pass this bill was a 39–33 vote in favor of the bill, but the filibuster required a two-thirds majority at the time. In other words, a 48–24 vote was required to pass the bill, so nothing could be done. Those in favor of abolition of the poll tax considered a constitutional amendment after the this defeat. Source: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/modern/jb_modern_polltax_1.htm
  • Investigation into Poll Tax

    Investigation into Poll Tax
    President Harry S. Truman established the President's Committee on Civil Rights, which, among other things, investigated the poll tax issue. The Committee noted that a constitutional amendment might be the best way to proceed. Unfortunately, little occurred. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
  • Passed by Congress

    Passed by Congress
    After 23 years of trying to pass legislation, it was passed by Congress. The vote was 295 to 86. At this time, only a few states were still using poll taxes. These states included Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. Nonetheless, Congress still thought it appropriate to make it into an amendment because poll taxes had been previously said to be constitutional by the courts. Source: http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-24th-amendment-definition-summary-history-court-cases.html
  • Argument against Amendment

    Argument against Amendment
    Many believed that the amendment did not go far enough to protect black voting rights in state and local elections. Representative John Lindsay of New York stated, "If we're going to have a constitutional amendment, let's have a meaningful one."
    However, Judiciary Chairman Emanuel Celler of New York dismissed this criticism and proceeded with the bill as it was introduced. Source: http://history.house.gov/HistoricalHighlight/Detail/37045
  • Ratified and part of the Constitution.

    Ratified and part of the Constitution.
    The 24th Amendment, which abolished the poll tax for all federal elections, finally became a part of the Constitution when South Dakota ratified it (SD was the 38th state to do so). This finally allowed African-Americans (and poor white men) to vote freely, without having to pay. After this was ratified, five states still had poll taxes in their state elections because it only outlawed taxes on federal elections. Source: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/fifteenth-amendment
  • Harper vs. Virginia Board of Elections

    Harper vs. Virginia Board of Elections
    This was a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that Virginia's poll tax was unconstitutional. By this ruling, the Supreme Court banned the use of poll taxes in state elections as well. Source: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1965/48