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Yes, There Is A Right To Vote In The Constitution
One constitutional argument that’s always confused us around here at Constitutional Accountability Center is the claim that there’s no right to vote in the Constitution – a claim even made by some of our progressive friends. In a recent piece in the Atlantic, Professor Garrett Epps explains the origins of this claim and offers an extensive (and persuasive) rebuttal. It’s well worth a read.
As Professor Epps makes clear, not only is there a right to vote in the Constitution, but it’s the single right that appears most often in the Constitution’s text – five times in all. In fact, four separate Amendments – the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th – even use the same powerful language to protect it: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged . . . .” Of course, like every other constitutional right, the right to vote is subject to reasonable restrictions. Nevertheless, it’s just as much a constitutional right as any other embodied in our Constitution.
Check out Professor Epps’s piece for yourself. It’s a great way to continue to reflect on one of our most cherished constitutional rights in honor of the Constitution’s 225th anniversary.