The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution was written by Congress at large, not by an individual author. It was proposed on August 27, 1962 and ratified on January 23, 1964.Continue Reading
The 24th Amendment outlawed the imposition of poll taxes by individual states. The poll tax was among the Jim Crow laws passed by southern states to maintain second-class citizenship for African Americans. The poll tax created a financial hardship for poor voters in the South. In the late 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced the poll tax, but his challenges to the law were compromised by his need for support from Southern members of his own Democratic party and by the advent of the Second World War.
The poll tax survived a legal challenge in the 1937 Supreme Court case "Breedlove v. Suttles." In 1962 Congress proposed the language of the 24th Amendment against the backdrop of the history of opposition to the poll tax and the Jim Crow laws.Learn more about The Constitution