Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: CAC Supports the Abolition Amendment

WASHINGTON – Upon the introduction by Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) of a constitutional amendment—known as the Abolition Amendment—that would strike that part of the Thirteenth Amendment that allows slavery or involuntary servitude to continue in the United States “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,” Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement:

This effort to pass and ratify the Abolition Amendment joins a proud, centuries-long struggle to bend the arc of America’s Constitution further toward progress. The work started by Reconstruction is not finished. And by deciding we cannot allow any exception to the prohibition of slavery and involuntary servitude to persist in the Constitution, we stand on the shoulders of giants whose legacies call upon us today to make our union ever more perfect, more equal, more inclusive, and more free.

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Resources:

“AHEAD OF JUNETEENTH, MERKLEY, WILLIAMS PROPOSE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO CLOSE SLAVERY LOOPHOLE IN 13TH AMENDMENT,” June 18, 2021: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/news/press-releases/ahead-of-juneteenth-merkley-williams-propose-constitutional-amendment-to-close-slavery-loophole-in-13th-amendment-2021

Amendment text as introduced in the 117th Congress: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/21.06.17%20Abolition%20Amendment.pdf

Summary explanation of the Abolition Amendment: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/The%20Abolition%20Amendment%20One%20Pager%20-%20117th_.pdf

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Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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