Since their birth during Reconstruction, the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments have been the subject of heated commentary and varying judicial interpretations. During the 1965 term and more recently, in 1968, the Supreme Court, in several landmark decisions, has expansively described the power granted Congress by those provisions to safeguard civil liberties. This comment examines these decisions from the perspective of early judicial interpretation of the amendments and from the theories offered by modern constitutional scholars. In conclusion, the logical results of this almost unrestricted measure of congressional power are examined.

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