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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/385

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LEGAL ASPECT OF THE SOUTHERN QUESTION. 367

the States, the federal government can interfere only when the States deny the rights guaranteed by the amendment. But it is not worth while to go further into this matter, since the power to employ militia is of little present importance.

Let us look for a moment at further attempted remedies. May 31, 1870, an "Enforcement Act" was passed,* the first section of which declared all citizens of the United States who are otherwise qualified to vote at any municipal. State, or federal election, shall be allowed to vote at such elections without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; any constitution, law, custom, usage, or regulation of any State or Territory, or by or under its authority, to the contrary notwithstanding. The suc- ceeding sections provided a criminal remedy for the following offences, besides, in most instances, a civil remedy to the party aggrieved. When a person or officer denies under authority of the State to any one, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, an equal opportunity with others to do an act required as a qualification for the right to vote (sect. 2) ; when an officer wrongfully refuses, as** aforesaid," to count the vote of a person making affidavit that he was prevented under color of State authority from doing the act "aforesaid" (sect. 3); pre- venting by bribery, threats, or intimidation, or combining to prevent, the doing of the act ** aforesaid " (sect. 4) ; hindering or attempting to hinder, by bribery or threats, any person from exercising the rights of suffrage guaranteed by the XVth Amend- ment (sect. 5) ; combinations to violate the act, or to prevent any person from enjoying the rights and privileges secured by the Constitution of the United States, or to injure any person for having enjoyed the same (sect. 6) ; illegal voting, bribery, or intimidation of voter or officer (sect. 19) ; illegal registering, and illegal refusal to perform any duties relating to such registra- tion in elections for representatives (sect. 20).^

Any person deprived of an office, except that of elector, and Df representative to Congress or State legislature, may recover it in the United States Circuit or District Courts (sect. 23).

The validity of certain sections of the act was tested in a

^ 16 Stat, at Large, c. 114. The President hat power to enforce the provisions of the act with the array and navy of the United States^ and with the militia.

3 The design of this act is carried somewhat farther in St. Apr. ao, 1871, c. 23, § i. By the same act certain combinations are made crimes.