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Even my
counsel, the Hon. Henry R. Selden, who has argued my cause so
ably, so earnestly, so unanswerably before your honor, is my
political sovereign. Precisely as no disfranchised person is
entitled to sit upon a jury, and no woman is entitled to the
franchise, so, none but a regularly admitted lawyer is allowed to
practice in the courts, and no woman can gain admission to the
bar--hence, jury, judge, counsel, must all be of the superior
class.

Judge HUNT: The Court must insist--the prisoner has been tried
according to the established forms of law.

Miss ANTHONY: Yes, your honor, but by forms of law all made by
men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men,
and against women; and hence, your honor's ordered verdict of
guilty, against a United States citizen for the exercise of "that
citizen's right to vote," simply because that citizen was a woman
and not a man. But, yesterday, the same man-made forms of law
declared it a crime punishable with $1,000 fine and six months'
imprisonment, for you, or me, or any of us, to give a cup of cold
water, a crust of bread, or a night's shelter to a panting
fugitive as he was tracking his way to Canada. And every man or
woman in whose veins coursed a drop of human sympathy violated
that wicked law, reckless of consequences, and was justified in
so doing. As then the slaves who got their freedom must take it
over, or under, or through the unjust forms of law, precisely so
now must women, to get their right to a voice in this Government,
take it; and I have taken mine, and mean to take it at every
possible opportunity.

Judge HUNT: The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will
not allow another word.

Miss ANTHONY: When I was brought before your honor for trial, I
hoped for a broad and liberal interpretation of the Constitution
and its recent amendments, that should declare all United States
citizens under its protecting ęgis--that should declare equality
of rights the national guarantee to all persons born or
naturalized in the United States. But failing to get this
justice--failing, even, to get a trial by a jury _not_ of my
peers--I ask not leniency at your hands--but rather the full
rigors of the law.

Judge HUNT: The Court must insist-- (Here the prisoner sat
down.)

Judge HUNT: The prisoner will stand up. (Here Miss Anthony arose
again.) The sentence of the Court is that you pay a fine of one
hundred dollars and the costs of the prosecution.

Miss ANTHONY: May it please your honor, I shall never pay a
dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess
is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper--_The
Revolution_--four years ago, the sole object of which was to
educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against
your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax,
fine, imprison, and hang women, while they deny them the right of
representation in the Government; and I shall work on with might
and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny
shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and
persistently continue to urge all women to the practical
recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to
tyranny is obedience to God."

Judge HUNT: Madam, the Court will not order you committed until
the fine is paid.

Immediately after the verdict, Miss Anthony, her counsel, her friends,
and the jury, passed out together talking over the case. Said Judge
Selden: "The war has abolished something besides slavery, it has
abolished jury trial. The decision of Justice Hunt was most
iniquitous. He had as much right to order me hung to the nearest tree,
as to take the case from the jury and render the decision he did," and
he bowed his head with shame at this prostitution of legal power.

The jury with freedom now to use their tongues, when too late, also
canvassed the trial and the injury done. "The verdict of guilty would
not have been mine, could I have spoken," said one, "nor should I have
been alone. There were others who thought as I did, but we could not
speak."

The decision of Judge Hunt was severely criticised.[172] Even among
those who believed women had no right to vote, and who did not
hesitate to say that Miss Anthony's punishment was inadequate, there
was a wide questioning as to his legal right to take the case from the
jury and enter the verdict of guilty, without permitting them in any
way to indicate their opinion. It was deemed a tyrannical and arrogant
assumption on the part of Judge Hunt, and one which endangered the
rights of the whole people. It was pertinently asked, "If this may be
done in one instance, why not in all?" and "If the courts may thus
arbitrarily direct what verdicts shall be rendered, what becomes of
the right to trial by an impartial jury, which the Constitution
guarantees to all persons alike, whether male or female?" These
questions were of the gravest importance, and the more so because
from this court there was no appeal. To deprive Miss Anthony of the
benefit of jury trial seemed, however, in unison with every step taken
in the cases of women under the XIV. Amendment.

The design of the Government was evidently to crush at once, and
arbitrarily, all efforts of women for equality of rights with men. The
principles of law and justice involved did not, however, apply to
women alone, but to all persons alike. Where the rights of the most
insignificant or humble are outraged those of all are endangered. The
decisions in these cases are the more remarkable since they were based
on the most ultra State Rights doctrine, and yet were rendered in
every instance by members of the Republican party which held its
position by reason of its recent success against the extreme demands
of State sovereignty. The right of women to vote under national
protection was but the logical result of the political guarantees of
the war, and Republican leaders should have been anxious to clinch
their war record by legislative and judicial decisions.

But a more thorough recognition of the State Rights theory never was
presented than in the proceedings of this Judge of the Supreme Court
in his verdict against Miss Anthony, nor a more absolute exhibition of
National power in State affairs than his decision in the case of the
Inspectors, who were State officers, working under State authority and
State laws, and not under authority derived from the Constitution of
the United States, but who were tried by an United States judge, and
punished for what was held as a crime against the State of New York--a
monstrous usurpation of National authority! Each of these trials was,
in its way, an example of authority overriding law, and an evidence of
the danger to the liberties of the people from a practically
irresponsible judiciary. Men need to feel their indebtedness and their
responsibility to those who place them in position; first, in order to
preserve them from despotism; and, second, that they may be removed
when infirmity demands the substitution of a competent person in their
place.

Although for a period little has been said in regard to the
usurpations of the judiciary, a time will come in the history of the
country when the course of Justice Hunt will be recalled as a
dangerous precedent.

It was more than a year after Miss Anthony's trial was completed
before her case received notice in the chief legal journal of the
State of New York. At that time, in an article entitled, "Can a Judge
Direct a Verdict of Guilty?"[173] Judge Hunt's course in refusing to
poll the jury was reviewed and condemned as contrary to justice and
law. To Mrs. Gage's review of this article, the _Law Journal_ said,
"If Mrs. Gage and Miss Anthony are not pleased with our laws, they had
better emigrate." This would make real, in case of woman, Edward
Everett Hale's story of the "Man Without a Country." Women are, by
this advice, assumed to have no country; to be living in the United
States upon sufferance, a species of useful aliens, which possesses no
rights that man is bound to respect, which are not to be permitted to
vote, nor even to protest when the dearest rights are trampled upon.
While admitting that Justice Hunt usurped power in taking the case
from the jury, the Albany _Law Journal_ expressed a desire that it
should have gone to the jury, not on the ground of legal right, but on
the ground that the jury would have brought in a verdict of guilty.

But had the case been allowed to go to the jury, no verdict of guilty
would have been rendered. The _jury_ did not believe the defendant
guilty, but they were not permitted to give their opinion. Their
opinions counted for nothing; they were wronged as well as Miss
Anthony.

It was said of the infamous Lord Jeffries, that when pre-determined
upon a conviction he always wore a red cap. In such cases juries were
useless appendages to his court. Justice Hunt, through this trial,
wore an invisible red cap which only came into view at its close.

The effect of Miss Anthony's prosecution, conviction, and sentence,
was in many ways advantageous to the cause of freedom. Her trial
served to awaken thought, promote discussion, and compel an
investigation of the principles of government. The argument of Judge
Selden, clearly proving woman's constitutional right to vote,
published[174] in all the leading papers, arrested the attention of
legal minds as no popular discussions had done.

Thus the question of the abstract rights of each individual, their
civil and political rights under State and National Constitutions,
were widely discussed. And when the verdict, contrary to law, was
rendered by the Judge, and the jury dismissed without having been
permitted to utter a word, the whole question of woman's rights and
wrongs was brought into new prominence through this infringement of
the sacred right of jury trial.

A _nolle prosequi_ was entered for the women who voted with Miss
Anthony.



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