U.S. Senate Unanimously Recognizes America’s Second Founding

Washington, DC – In bi-partisan recognition of the fundamental importance of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution adopted in the wake of the Civil War, yesterday the U.S. Senate adopted S. Res. 198 by unanimous consent, commemorating the 150th anniversaries of these transformational Amendments and designating the year 2015 as the “Sesquicentennial of Our Nation’s Second Founding.” These Amendments ended slavery, protected fundamental rights from state abuses, promised equality, and guaranteed the right vote free of racial discrimination.


To help commemorate these watershed events in our history, the Senate “encourages State and local governments to join in the Sesquicentennial celebration by organizing appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational outreach,” and “encourages the people of the United States to explore the history and significance of the Second Founding.”


Constitutional Accountability Center President and Founder Doug Kendall said, “We are grateful to Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee for their leadership in directing the Nation’s attention to these critical additions to our founding charter. For too long, the story of these transformational Amendments has been overshadowed by what came before, and we look forward to carrying their inspiring message throughout the country over the next five years.”






Text of draft S. Res. 198 (“as passed” text not yet available from the Government Printing Office): http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/SRES198-DRAFT_0.pdf




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



More from

Corporate Accountability

Intuit, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission

In Intuit Inc v. Federal Trade Commission, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is considering whether the FTC’s authority to issue cease-and-desist orders against false and misleading advertising is constitutional.
Rule of Law
June 20, 2024

Opinion | The tragedy of the Supreme Court’s bump stock ruling

Washington Post
Don’t let technicalities, or a refusal to use common sense, become the enemy of public...
By: Nina Henry
Access to Justice
June 20, 2024

RELEASE: Supreme Court rejects artificial limit on liability for speech-based retaliation by government officers

WASHINGTON, DC – Following today’s Supreme Court decision in Gonzalez v. Trevino, a case in...
By: Brian R. Frazelle
Civil and Human Rights
June 20, 2024

RELEASE: Supreme Court decision keeps the door open to accountability for police officers who make false charges

WASHINGTON, DC – Following this morning’s decision at the Supreme Court in Chiaverini v. City...
By: Brian R. Frazelle
Corporate Accountability
June 20, 2024

RELEASE: In narrow ruling, Supreme Court rejects baseless effort to shield corporate-derived income from taxation

WASHINGTON, DC – Following this morning’s decision at the Supreme Court in Moore v. United...
By: Brian R. Frazelle
Rule of Law
June 19, 2024

The Supreme Court’s approach on ‘history and tradition’ is irking Amy Coney Barrett

Washington (CNN) — On a Supreme Court where the conservative supermajority increasingly leans on history as a...
By: Elizabeth B. Wydra, Devan Cole, John Fritze