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Juneteenth : Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments

Celebrating Juneteenth

15 Amendment

Print shows a parade surrounded by portraits and vignettes of Black life, illustrating rights granted by the 15th amendment.

The Fifteenth Amendment, Celebrated May 19th 1870

A reduced version of Kelly's large print "The Fifteenth Amendment, Celebrated May 19th 1870" (no. 1870-4), with a key to the picture added in the lower margin. See https://loc.getarchive.net/media/the-fifteenth-amendment-1

 

Juneteenth - Federal Holiday

On June 15, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed S.475 to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. The House of Representatives will then need to vote on the bill and, if passes, will move to the President for signature. 

More on the passing of the Senate Bill from the newspaper Roll Call 

You can track the progress of this Bill using Congress.gov.  If you are not familiar with tracking bills, please view this 2 minute video from Congress.gov on how to explore a bill and what information you can uncover.

Resolutions

U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives not only introduce and pass bills but they also introduce and pass Resolutions. A Simple Resolution is "legislation that relates to the operations of a single chamber or expresses the collective opinion of that chamber on public policy issues. A simple resolution originating in the House of Representatives is designated by the letters “H. Res.” followed by a number and simple resolutions introduced in the Senate as “S. Res.” followed by a number. (see Library of Congress' Congressional Glossary)  Simple Resolutions can be searched, tracked and viewed using Congress.gov

U.S. Senate Resolutions recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day

S.Res 269 (117th Cong.)

S.Res. 253 (116th Cong.)

S.Res. 547 (115th Cong.)

S.Res. 214 (115th Cong.)

S.Res. 500 (114th Cong.)

U.S. House of Representatives Resolutions recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day  

H.Res. 450 (116th Cong.)

H.Res. 948 (115th Cong.)

H.Res. 386 (115th Cong.)

H.Res. 787 (114th Cong.)

U.S. Constitutional Amendments

Reconstruction Amendments

"The ThirteenthFourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution constituted the largest expansion of civil rights in the history of the United States. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed involuntary servitude. The Fourteenth Amendment made it illegal for a state to pass laws "which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States... [or] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, [or] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the U.S. or any state to deny a citizen the right to vote based on that person's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." These Amendments are called the Reconstruction Amendments because they were passed during the Reconstruction Era."  - Legal Information Institute, Wex, Civil Rights 

In addition to these U.S. Constitutional Amendments there were Civil Rights laws passed during the Reconstruction era (1860s) and throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries See Legal Information Institute's Wex article on Civil Rights.