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Webster, as counsel in
United States _vs._ Primrose. We indorse every word in that
extract. We do not claim that a citizen of Pennsylvania can go
into Virginia and vote in Virginia, being a citizen of
Pennsylvania. No person has ever contended for such an absurdity.
We claim that when the citizen of the United States becomes a
citizen of Virginia, the State of Virginia has neither right nor
power to abridge the privileges of such citizen by denying him
entirely the right of suffrage, and thus all political rights.
The authorities cited by the majority of the Committee do not
seem to meet the case--certainly do not sustain their theory.

The case of Cooper _vs._ The Mayor of Savannah (4 Geo., 72),
involved the question whether a free negro was a citizen of the
United States? The Court, in the opinion, says:

Free persons of color have never been recognized as citizens
of Georgia; they are not entitled to bear arms, vote for
members of the legislature, or hold any civil office; they
have no political rights, but have personal rights, one of
which is personal liberty.

That they could not vote, hold office, etc., was held evidence
that they were not regarded as citizens.

In the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Scott
_vs._ Sanford (19 Howard, p. 476), Mr. Justice Daniel, in
delivering his opinion, used the following language as to the
rights and qualities of citizenship:

For who it may be asked is a citizen? What do the character
and status of citizens import? Without fear of
contradiction, it does not import the condition of being
private property, the subject of individual power and
ownership. Upon a principle of etymology alone, the term
citizen, as derived from _civitas_, conveys the idea of
connection or identification with the State or government,
and a participation in its functions. But beyond this there
is not, it is believed, to be found, in the theories of
writers on government, or in any actual experiment
heretofore tried, an exposition of the term citizen which
has not been understood as conferring the actual possession
and enjoyment, or the perfect right of acquisition and
enjoyment, of an entire equality of privileges, civil and
political.

And in the same case Chief Justice Taney said: "The words 'people
of the United States' and 'citizens' are synonymous terms, and
mean the same thing; they both describe the political body, who,
according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty,
and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their
representatives. They are what we familiarly call the sovereign
people, and every citizen is one of this people, and a
constituent member of this sovereignty." (19 Howard, 404).

In an important case in the Supreme Court of the United States,
Chief Justice Jay, in delivering the opinion of the Court, said:
"At the Revolution the sovereignty devolved on the people, and
they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are
sovereigns without subjects (unless the African slaves may be so
called), and have none to govern but themselves. The citizens of
America are equal as fellow-citizens, and joint tenants of the
sovereignty." (Chishol _vs._ Georgia, 2 Dallas, 470).

In Conner _vs._ Elliott (18 Howard), Justice Curtis, in declining
to give an enumeration of all the "privileges" of the citizen,
said, "According to the express words and clear meaning of the
clause, no privileges are secured except those that belong to
citizenship."

The Supreme Court said, in Corfield _vs._ Coryell, that the
elective franchise is such privilege; therefore, according to
Justice Curtis, it belongs to citizenship. In a case in the
Supreme Court of Kentucky (1 Littell's Ky. Reports, p. 333), the
Court say:

No one can, therefore, in the correct sense of the term, be
a citizen of a State who is not entitled upon the terms
prescribed by the institutions of the State to all the
rights and privileges conferred by these institutions upon
the highest class of society.

Mr. Wirt, when Attorney-General of the United States, in an
official opinion to be found on p. 508, 1st volume Opinions of
Attorney-Generals, came to the conclusion that the negroes were
not citizens of the United States, for the reason that they had
very few of the "privileges" of citizens, and among the
"privileges of citizens" of which they were deprived, that they
could not vote at any election.

Webster defines a citizen to be "a person, 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
defines the word thus: "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." Bouvier,
in his Law Dictionary, defines the term citizen: "One who, under
the Constitution and laws of the United States, has a right to
vote for Representatives in Congress and other public officers,
and who is qualified to fill offices in the gift of the people."
Aristotle defines a citizen to be "one who is a partner in the
legislative and judicial power, and who shares in the honors of
the State." (Aristotle de Repub., lib. 3, cap. 5, D.) The
essential properties of Athenian citizenship consisted in the
share possessed by every citizen in the legislature, in the
election of magistrates, and in the courts of justice. (See
Smith's Dictionary of Greek Antiquities, p. 289). The possession
of the _jus suffragii_, at least, if not also of the _jus
honorum_, is the principle which governs at this day in defining
citizenship in the countries deriving their jurisprudence from
the civil law. (Wheaton's International Law, p. 892).

The Dutch publicist, Thorbecke, says:

What constitutes the distinctive character of our epoch is
the development of the right of citizenship. In its most
extended, as well as its most restricted sense, it includes
a great many properties. The right of citizenship is the
right of voting in the government of the local, provincial,
or national community of which one is a member. In this last
sense, the right of citizenship signifies a participation in
the right of voting, in the general government, as member of
the State. (Rev. & Fr. Etr., tom. v, p. 383).

In a recent work of some research, written in opposition to
female suffrage, the author takes the ground that women are not
citizens, and urges that as a reason why they can properly be
denied the elective franchise, his theory being that if full
citizens they would be entitled to the ballot. He uses the
following language:

It is a question about which there may be some diversity of
opinion, what constitutes citizenship or who are citizens.
In a loose and improper sense the word citizen is sometimes
used to denote any inhabitant of the country, but this is
not a correct use of the word. Those, and no others, are
properly citizens who were parties to the original compact
by which the government was formed, or their successors who
are qualified to take part in the affairs of government by
their votes in the election of public officers. Women and
children are represented by their domestic directors or
heads in whose wills theirs is supposed to be included.
They, as well as others not entitled to vote, are not
properly citizens, but are members of the State, fully
entitled to the protection of its laws. A citizen, then, is
a person entitled to vote in the elections. He is one of
those in whom the sovereign power of the State resides.
(Jones on Suffrage, p. 48.)

But all such fallacious theories as this are swept away by the
XIV. Amendment, which abolishes the theory of different grades of
citizenship, or different grades of rights and privileges, and
declares all persons born in the country or naturalized in it to
be citizens, in the broadest and fullest sense of the term,
leaving no room for cavil, and guaranteeing to all citizens the
rights and privileges of citizens of the republic. We think we
are justified in saying that the weight of authority sustains us
in the view we take of this question. But considering the nature
of it, it is a question depending much for its solution upon a
consideration of the government under which citizenship is
claimed. Citizenship in Turkey or Russia is essentially different
in its rights and privileges from citizenship in the United
States. In the former, citizenship means no more than the right
to the protection of his absolute rights, and the "citizen" is a
subject; nothing more. Here, in the language of Chief Justice
Jay, there are no subjects. All, native-born and naturalized, are
citizens of the highest class; here all citizens are sovereigns,
each citizen bearing a portion of the supreme sovereignty, and
therefore it must necessarily be that the right to a voice in the
Government is the right and privilege of a citizen as such, and
that which is undefined in the Constitution is undefined because
it is self-evident.

Could a State disfranchise and deprive of the right to a vote all
citizens who have red hair; or all citizens under six feet in
height?



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