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
While the
conditions of the right have varied in several States, and from
time to time been modified in the same State, the right has
uniformly rested upon the express authority of the political
power, and been made to revolve within the limitations of express
law.

Passing from this brief allusion to the political history of the
question to the consideration of its inherent merits, we do not
hesitate to believe that the legal vindication of the natural
right of all citizens to vote would, at this stage of popular
intelligence, involve the destruction of civil government. There
is nothing in the history of the past that teaches us otherwise.
There is little in current history that promises a better result.
The right of all men to vote is as fully recognized in the
population of our large centres and cities as can well be done,
short of an absolute declaration that all men shall vote,
irrespective of qualifications. The result in these centres is
political profligacy and violence verging upon anarchy. The
influences working out this result are apparent in the utter
neglect of all agencies to conserve the virtue, integrity and
wisdom of government, and the appropriation of all agencies
calculated to demoralize and debase the integrity of the elector.
Institutions of learning, calculated to bring men up to their
highest state of political citizenship, and indispensable to the
qualifications of the mind and morals of the responsible voter,
are postponed to the agency of the dram-shop and gambling hell;
and men of conscience and capacity are discarded, to the
promotion of vagabonds to power.

This condition demonstrates that the right to vote ought not to
be, and is not, an absolute right. The fact that the practical
working of the assumed right would be destructive of civilization
is decisive that the right does not exist.... It will be seen by
the first clause of the XIV. Amendment, that the plaintiffs, in
common with all other persons born in the United States, are
citizens thereof, and, if to make them citizens is to make them
voters, the plaintiffs may, of right, vote. It will be inferred
from what has already been said, that to make a person a citizen
is not to make him or her a voter. All that has been accomplished
by this Amendment to the Constitution, or by its previous
provisions, is to distinguish them from aliens, and make them
capable of becoming voters.

In giving expression to my own judgment, this clause does advance
them to full citizenship, and clothes them with the capacity to
become voters. The provision ends with the declaration of their
citizenship. It is a constitutional provision that does not
execute itself. It is the creation of a constitutional condition
that requires the supervention of legislative power in the
exercise of legislative discretion to give it effect. The
constitutional capability of becoming a voter created by this
Amendment lies dormant, as in the case of an infant, until made
effective by legislative action. Congress, the legislative power
of this jurisdiction, as yet, has not seen fit to carry the
inchoate right into effect, as is apparent in the law regulating
the franchise of this District. When that shall have been done,
it will be the pleasure of this court to administer the law as
they find it. Until this shall be done, the consideration of
fitness and unfitness, merit and demerit, are considerations for
the law-making power. The demurrer in these cases is sustained.

After the reading of the opinion of the Court by Chief Justice
Cartter, Mr. Riddle, counsel for the plaintiffs, in open court, prayed
an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. And that highest
tribunal affirmed the decision of Judge Cartter.

This contradictory decision of Judge Cartter averring that the XIV.
Amendment clothed women with the capacity to become voters, but did
not create them voters, afforded opportunity for criticism and
ridicule. The Washington _Sunday Morning Herald_ wittily reported[166]
this trial in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

On July 21st, 1871, Ellen Rand Van Valkenburg, of Santa Cruz,
California, having applied for registration and been refused, brought
suit against Albert Brown, of Brown County, who acted as Register upon
this occasion. Although later suits exceeded this in interest it was
notable for being the first decision under the new amendments.[167]

September 16, 1871, suit was brought by Carrie S. Burnham, an
unmarried woman, residing in Philadelphia. She was duly assessed by
the canvassers of the Fourteenth Ward of that city as a resident of
the Eleventh Election District of that ward. Two days afterwards she
paid her tax, and her name was registered on the canvassers' printed
list of legal voters in that division. Having complied with all the
laws regulating suffrage in Pennsylvania, she presented her ballot in
legal form at the proper time and place at the general election, but
her vote was refused. Her argument in the Court of Common Pleas and
the opinion of the judge, will be given in the Pennsylvania chapter.

Mrs. Catharine V. Waite, of Illinois, also instituted suit for the
refusal of her vote proffered in the fall of 1871, and received an
adverse decision, a report of which will be found in the Illinois
chapter.

Two years previous to these suits for the recognition of the political
rights of women a contest of a different character was commenced in
Illinois. Mrs. Myra Bradwell, editor of the Chicago _Legal News_, in
September, 1869, having passed the examination, and received the
required certificate of qualification, applied for admission to the
bar of that State, which was refused by its Supreme court, on the
ground that she was a woman. She made this denial of her civil rights
a test case by bringing a writ of error against the State of Illinois
in the Supreme Court of the United States. We copy from the _Legal
News_ of February 5, 1870:


A WOMAN CAN NOT PRACTICE LAW OR HOLD ANY OFFICE IN ILLINOIS.

_Full Report of the Proceedings in the Supreme Court upon the
Application of Myra Bradwell to be admitted to the Bar._

LICENSING ATTORNEYS.--The following extract from rule 76 shows
what is required by the Supreme Court of applicants for admission
to the bar:

_Ordered_, That rules 69 and 70 be rescinded, and applicants
for license to practice law in the courts of this State, on
presenting to any member of this court a certificate of
qualification, signed by the Circuit Judge and State's
Attorney of the circuit in which the applicant may reside,
setting forth that the applicant has been examined and found
qualified, will be a sufficient voucher on which to grant a
license.

CERTIFICATE OF ADMISSION.--The undersigned have examined Mrs.
Myra Bradwell as to her qualifications to enter upon the practice
of the law, and finding her qualified therefor, recommended that
a license should be issued to her.

E. S. WILLIAMS, _Judge Seventh Judicial Circuit_.
CHARLES H. REED, _State's Attorney_.

Chicago, Illinois, August 2, 1869.

MOTION TO BE ADMITTED.--Robert Hervey, Esq., of the Chicago Bar,
at the September term, kindly, at the request of the applicant,
filed her certificate of examination and of character from Judge
Jameson of the Superior Court of Chicago; also the following
written application prepared by her, and moved the court that she
be admitted:

_Supreme Court of Illinois--Third Grand Division--September Term.
1869--(In the matter of the Application of Myra Bradwell for
license to practice law.)_

_To the Honorable the Judges of the Supreme Court of Illinois_:
Now comes your petitioner, Myra Bradwell, a resident of Chicago,
Ill., over twenty-one years of age, and presents to your honors,
under rule 76 of this honorable court, the certificate of the
Hon. E. S. Williams, Judge of the Circuit Court for the Seventh
District, and the Hon. Charles H. Reed, State's Attorney for the
said circuit, stating that they have examined your petitioner and
found her qualified to practice law, and recommend that a license
issue to her for that purpose, and also a certificate as to
character from the Superior Court of Chicago, as required by the
statute and the rule aforesaid, and moves your honors that an
order of this honorable court may be entered directing a license
to be given to your petitioner. Your petitioner suggests that the
only question involved in her case is--Does being a woman
disqualify her under the laws of Illinois from receiving a
license to practice law?--and claims that the Legislature has
answered this question in the negative. The first section of
chapter eleven of the Revised Statutes, in regard to the
admission of attorneys, is as follows:

No person shall be permitted to practice as an attorney or
counselor-at-law, or to commence, conduct, or defend any
action, suit, or plaint, in which he is not a party
concerned, in any court of record within this State, either
by using or subscribing his own name or the name of any
other person without having previously obtained a license
for that purpose from some two of the Justices of the
Supreme Court, which license shall constitute the person
receiving the same an attorney and counselor-at-law, and
shall authorize him to appear in all the courts of record
within this State, and there to practice as an attorney and
counselor-at-law, according to the laws and customs thereof,
for and during his good behavior in said practice, and to
demand and receive all such fees as are or hereafter may be
established for any services which he shall or may render as
an attorney or counselor-at-law in this State.

Your petitioner claims that the pronoun he, not only in this
section, but the whole chapter, is used indefinitely for any
person, and may refer to either a man or woman.

The Legislature devoted the whole of chapter 90 to construing
various expressions and words used in the Revised Statutes, and
in section 28 said:

When any party or person is described or referred to by
words importing the masculine gender, females as well as
males shall be deemed to be included.

It is declared by Act No.



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.