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Female Suffrage

Female Suffrage image
Parent Issue
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The is ni abttraêt oí the opinión rooonüy clolivered ly the United States Supreme Court, in the cano of Miner vb. Eopperaatt, deiwing to women (In1 ï-ifflit of suifragc. The opinión was delivered by Ohief-Justice Waito, all the ássociate ïustices congurring : Xhis is the chh presenting the nuestiou whether under the Fourtcenth Amendment a wiuiinii who ín a oitizen of the Dnited : iuid of a State íh a votcr iu the Btate, nntwithstanding tho prcmsions of the Coustitution and thelawsof tost State confine tbe right of suf frage to men alone, It is naid that romen are citizenH. They aro persons, and, thereforc, nndevthe Fourteenth Amendinent, deolared to be rilicns of the State whereiu they reside. But it (lid not reqaire fluit unendment to uiake them Buch. The; were, lirl'orc, peraonn ;um! pepple, iimI were oot in temas excluded frora citizenahip by the Constitution. The Federal ! Con litiition was ordained by the people of tlie United States, and whoever "at the time of n adoption wRB ono of the people bec&me a oitizou. All ofaildren bwn oí citizeu patenta vrithin th juriHdietion are thoniBclvcH cltlzens. The uaturalizatiou laws are reviewed to show that women havo alwaya been considered citizeiis tho saine asmen; alno tlie lawg giving Jurisdiction in Federa] cases. It in then said that the Fourteenth Amendinent did nol affect the citizenahip of women any more than it did of men. and thus minors' i i'litB do not depend npou it. he lias always teen a citizen fromher birth, entitledto all the priYÜeges, immimiücs. etc. of oitizenship. The amendment prohibited the State in which ahc livea From abridging any of those righte. Theright of BUffrage is not made in term one of the privfli ;;en of the oifizèn. The United States has no voten, and no ono can vote Federal, without beinK competent to vote for State, oftioers. He elsotive olKcers of the United States are ohosen directly or by the votéis of the Statêe'. TUe ámendment did not add to the privileges or immunities of the citizen: il simply furntshed an additional gnarantee for the protection of such as he already had. Nor is the right of BUffrage eo-extengivewith the citizenliip of the State. When the Federal Gonstitution me adopted, uil the State but Bhode Island had Constitutions of theü'own, in not one of trliicu were all oitizena recognized as entitli ! to this right. And uuderall these cireum Btances it cannot be for a moment doubted that if it had been intended to make citizens of the United States voters tho framers of the Constitution would have so expresse tliat, iutoution, and not have left bo important a ehange in tho condition of oitizenship. as it tlien exiated, to implication. But if farther evidenee h ueeded it is to be found in the provisión of the i'ontititution. If suffrage is ncccSHarily a part of oitizenship, then the provisión of the autution wtucb glvee oitizens of eaeh State a 1 tho privileges and immunities of citizens ïu the aeveral States would entitle the oitizens oi' eacli State to thcright to voto in tho several States precisely a8 the citízona of those States are. Other provisions, among (hem t hat. relating to the apportionmeiit of reprcscntatives, wcro eited to the same point. But stilJ again, after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment it was found uecossary to nse in tho Fifteeuth Amendment the following language : "The rightof citizeus of the United States to vote shall not be clcuicil or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude." The Fourteentb. Aniendment liad provided againSt any aliridgment the privileges or immunitios of eitiiena, and if the right of Buffrage is one of thein, wliy ameud the Couatitution furthor to prevent ita being denied on account of race, color, etc.? The dutyof the 1 iiited States to guarantee to tho Statea republicau form of government ia discharged iu protoctiug tliono governraentd whiWi insnlutroii when adopted. Tho gorernments of tlio Stiltes being then accepted it must be aseomed thut thoy aro snob, as are to be nteed. The adinission of new States is tlicn considered. and it is found that there is aothmg to favor the idea that suffrage is a right of citizenship, but ovcrything to repcal it ; also, the restoratiou of the States to tho Union after the war, none of them having provided for female enffrage. Besides, a persou who has simplj dcc.larod his iiitciitioiis to Ijecomo a citi.en oí tke United States may vote under certain cirooiostanoea in Missouri and other States, and ould not .he il' auffrage depended upon the right. of citizenship. The court are a&animous in the opinión that the (bnstiiution of tho United States does not. confer the right of suffrage apon any one, and that the Constitutions of the w:cral States which commit the trust to men iilone are not uocossai'il.v voiil. Alliriucd.