The United States abolished slavery in the United States when it ratified the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Under this amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crimes, were outlawed. The amendment also permitted Congress to enact legislation to enforce this amendment. The Supreme Court restricted Congressional power to enforce the act in the Civil Rights Cases in 1883, and relatively little litigation occurred over the next eighty years. However, the Court held in the 1968 case of Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. that Congressional authority to proscribe private discrimination was granted by the Thirteenth Amendment. Since that time, the Thirteenth Amendment has served as part of the basis of authority under which Congress may enact civil rights legislation.