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House Joint Resolution 39 proposing an Amendment to the Constitution, including the “race rider, ” May 1, 1911

House Joint Resolution 39 proposing an Amendment to the Constitution, including the “race rider, ” May 1, 1911

H. J. Res. 39 ultimately passed both houses of Congress and became the 17th Amendment. However, this version of the resolution as it originally passed the House of Representatives contained language referred to as the “race rider.” The clause states, “The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators shall be as prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof.” This language was meant to bar Federal intervention in cases of racial discrimination among voters. This would be done by vesting complete control of Senate elections in state governments. A substitute amendment by Senator Joseph L. Bristow (R-KS) provided for the direct election of Senators without the “race rider.” Bristow's version later passed both houses of Congress and was ratified by the states.

Desk copies of House Joint Resolutions (SEN 62A-C4) Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46

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