A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
The term is used in the sense in
which Mr. White uses it. It is no new meaning; no new use of the
word.

Now turn to Webster's Unabridged, where citizen is defined:
"Citizen--a person," [in the United States,]--for he inserts in
brackets the expressive "U. S." to indicate what he
means,--"native or naturalized, who has the privilege of voting
for public officers, and who is qualified to fill offices in the
gift of the people."

Worcester says of "citizen":--"An inhabitant of a Republic who
enjoys the rights of a citizen or freeman, and who has a right to
vote for public officers, as a citizen of the United States."

Turn to Bouvier's Law Dictionary, in orthodox sheep skin, and see
what he says a citizen is: "Citizen, one who, under the
Constitution and laws of the United States has a right to vote
for representatives in Congress and other public offices, and who
is qualified to fill offices in the gift of the people."--4th
ed., vol. 1, p. 221.

All known authority concurs in establishing this as the sole,
proper signification of the word citizen; and in this sense, and
in no other, is it used in the XIV. Amendment. I know that the
term is sometimes used--is once used, perhaps, in the
Constitution--to correspond somewhat with the term "inhabitant,"
as thus, "citizens of different States may sue each other in the
courts of the United States," etc. But it was not necessary to
shake the foundations of this great Republic, to formulate and
get adopted this new amendment, for the purpose of stating that
the people who were born and always had lived in the United
States might be inhabitants of them. But it was necessary to say
so, that cavaliers might be estopped from denying that they are
citizens.

But to recur to the further clause of this XIV. Amendment. Let us
see, now, really what the makers and promulgators of it did mean.
"No State shall make or enforce any law"--neither make any new
law, nor enforce any that had already been made--"which shall
abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
States." Is there any doubt now as to what "citizen" means? He,
or she, or both, are persons in possession, and have by express
declaration all the privileges and the immunities of citizens.

When I stated this before the Judiciary Committee this morning, a
distinguished Representative from Illinois, and a very able
lawyer, stopped me and said, "Mr. Riddle, babies would be
citizens according to that, and would have the privilege of going
straight to the ballot-box, the first thing." (Laughter.) Perhaps
so; but I could not see it then, and can not see it now. All
power is inherent in the people, and it is perfectly competent
for this "all power" to declare at what age and under what
circumstances the citizen shall vote; so that the rule applies
uniformly, and excludes none. One-half of the people were
excluded, and this article removes that exclusion--and that is
all. Apply the gentleman's idea to other provisions of the
Constitution; for instance, to this: "The right of the people to
keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Would he contend that
therefore every new-born baby might at once grasp a musket? This
might be constitutional, but it would put the infantry on a
war-footing before the commissariat could be mobilized, I fear.
(Laughter and applause.)

Women are not only citizens, but the amendment further says, that
no State shall pass any law or enforce any law which shall
abridge the privileges and immunities of this citizenship. The
privileges--not a part of them. What do we mean when we say the
privileges? For instance, when we say "the ladies," do we not
mean them all? "The Senators," we mean them all. We do not merely
mean the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Nye), however he may have the
right to be spoken of first. (Laughter and applause.) These
terms, "privileges and immunities," are not now used for the
first time in the American Constitution. They are old
acquaintances of ours. They have done service a great while. They
occur in this same Constitution, as will be seen by referring to
the second section of Article IV, on page 38 of Paschal's
admirably annotated Constitution of the United States: "Citizens
of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and
immunities of citizens in the several States." Precisely, as the
XIV. Amendment has it, but, as Judge Bradley recently said, with
a much more enlarged meaning in the latter. They were old before
the Constitution, and were incorporated into it from the fourth
article of the Old Confederation, which provided, "that the free
inhabitants of each of the States shall be entitled to all the
privileges and immunities of the free citizens of the several
States."

If you would see a comment upon these terms, read the
forty-second number of the _Federalist_, or a tumefied and
diluted edition of it, in Story on the Constitution, which, like
some other of his books, contains some remarks of his own, and
are not always the best things in them. For the benefit of the
Judiciary Committee, made up, as you know, of some of the ablest
lawyers and best men of the country, I procured a judicial
definition of these terms, "privileges, and immunities," although
Mr. Attorney Bates said none exists, and my friend Judge Paschal,
a more learned man, repeated it. I referred them to the case of
Corfield _vs._ Coryell, 4th vol. of the so-called "Washington
Circuit Court Reports," p. 371, where these terms came up, away
back in the old time. Bushrod Washington, the favorite nephew of
our Washington, made the decision, ladies. He was the Washington
who got all of the brains of the family outside of its great
chief; and he put them to a most admirable use. He was one of the
judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, and he
judicially defined the meaning of these "privileges and
immunities," and said that they included such privileges as are
fundamental in their nature. And among them he says, is the right
to EXERCISE THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE, and to HOLD OFFICES, as
provided for by the laws of the various States. And the great
Chancellor Kent, quoting this case, thus approvingly incorporates
its very language into his text, where it stands unchallenged,
unquestioned, and uncontradicted.

"It was declared in Corfield _vs._ Coryell, that the
privileges and immunities conceded by the Constitution of
the United States to citizens in the several States, were to
be confined to those which were in their nature fundamental,
and belonged of right to the citizens of all free
governments. Such are the rights of protection of life and
liberty, and to acquire and enjoy property, and to pay no
higher impositions than other citizens, and to pass through
or reside in the State at pleasure, and _to enjoy the
elective franchise according_ to the regulations of the law
of the State" (2 Kent Com., p. 71).

Why, the gentlemen of the Upper and of the Lower House, who are
familiar with that decision and with its canonization by Kent,
are not obliged to resort to Webster (not Daniel) and Worcester,
nor to Grant White, nor even to Bouvier's Law Dictionary. They
may overrule them all if they will. But they must go back to
these sometimes forgotten decisions, which rest in the leaves of
these dusty volumes, to these witnesses of the law, who declare
that these expressions, "privileges, and immunities" include the
elective franchise. And the whole people of these United States
have solemnly declared "that all persons are citizens, and no
State shall make or enforce any law to abridge the privileges and
immunities of the citizens." If such authority and such reasoning
were presented to a court on the trial of any other case in the
wide world, save that of women and their rights, an advocate
would be stopped by the court before he had gone half the length
I have in this argument. The court would say that they would hear
from the other side. (Laughter.) But this thing of opposition to
woman's rights does not rest in intelligence so that it can be
grasped in argument. It has no intellectual foundation anywhere.
No logic supports it. No reason or argument sustains it. It
rests upon no foundation of the human understanding; hence, it
can not be combated; for, as Mr. Mills says, the worse it is
beaten in argument the stronger it is fortified in prejudice. Men
seem to think that inasmuch as this thing has always been,
somehow or other, in some way or other, there was somewhere, at
some time some reason for it, which could be shown now if
somebody could only think of it or find it; but, of course,
nobody ever did and nobody ever will. There never was any.
(Laughter.)

One consideration alone is absolutely conclusive of this
argument, and from it escape is impossible. "Persons born or
naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction
thereof," were already in the full and complete enjoyment of
every privilege and immunity known to our political system,
except the elective franchise and its correlative, the right to
hold office. The only difference between the naturalized and
unnaturalized individual is this right of voting. I pray our
opponents to tell us then what is conferred by this first section
of this wonderful article, if it be not these rights? Nothing
else remained that it could confer; and this view alone silences
cavil, even.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | 265 | | 266 | | 267 | | 268 | | 269 | | 270 | | 271 | | 272 | | 273 | | 274 | | 275 | | 276 | | 277 | | 278 | | 279 | | 280 | | 281 | | 282 | | 283 | | 284 | | 285 | | 286 | | 287 | | 288 | | 289 | | 290 | | 291 | | 292 | | 293 | | 294 | | 295 | | 296 | | 297 | | 298 | | 299 | | 300 | | 301 | | 302 | | 303 | | 304 | | 305 | | 306 | | 307 | | 308 | | 309 | | 310 | | 311 | | 312 | | 313 | | 314 | | 315 | | 316 | | 317 | | 318 | | 319 | | 320 | | 321 | | 322 | | 323 | | 324 | | 325 | | 326 | | 327 | | 328 | | 329 | | 330 | | 331 | | 332 | | 333 | | 334 | | 335 | | 336 | | 337 | | 338 | | 339 | | 340 | | 341 | | 342 | | 343 | | 344 | | 345 | | 346 | | 347 | | 348 | | 349 | | 350 | | 351 | | 352 | | 353 | | 354 | | 355 | | 356 | | 357 | | 358 | | 359 | | 360 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.