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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. Immediately after the decision in her case, the trial of the
Inspectors took place before the same court. This was in reality a
continuation of the same question--a citizen's right to vote--and like
that of Miss Anthony's was a legal farce, the decision in this case
evidently having also been pre-determined. The indictment stated that:

Beverly W. Jones, Edwin T. Marsh, and William B. Hall, Inspectors
of Election in and for said first election district of said
eight ward of said city of Rochester, etc., did then and there
knowingly and willfully register as a voter of said District, one
Susan B. Anthony, she, said Susan B. Anthony, then and there not
being entitled to be registered as a voter of said District in
that she, said Susan B. Anthony was then and there a person of
the female sex, contrary to the form of the statute of the United
States of America in such case made and provided, and against the
peace of the United States of America and their dignity.

Although the above indictment may have been legal in form, it clearly
proved the inadequacy of man alone to frame just laws, holding, as it
did, Susan B. Anthony to be "then and there a person of the female
sex, contrary to the form of the statutes of the United States of
America," etc.

Witnesses were first called on behalf of the United States; during
whose examination it was again conceded that the women named in the
indictment were women on the 5th day of November, 1872, thus again
clearly showing the animus of these trials to be against sex--making
sex a crime in the eye of United States laws. While the right to
testify in her own behalf was denied to Miss Anthony it was granted to
the Inspectors of election.

Beverly W. Jones, and each of the other defendants, was duly sworn as
a witness in his own behalf, and Susan B. Anthony was called as a
witness in behalf of the defendants.

Miss ANTHONY: I would like to know if the testimony of a person
who has been convicted of a crime can be taken?

The COURT: They call you as a witness, madam.

The witness, having been duly affirmed, testified as follows:

_Examined by_ Mr. VAN VOORHIS:

_Q._ Miss Anthony, I want you to state what occurred at the Board
of Registry, when your name was registered? _A._ That would be
very tedious, for it was full an hour.

_Q._ State generally what was done, or what occupied that hour's
time?

Objected to.

_Q._ Well, was the question of your right to be registered a
subject of discussion there? _A._ It was.

_Q._ By and between whom? _A._ Between the supervisors, the
inspectors, and myself.

_Q._ State, if you please, what occurred when you presented
yourself at the polls on election day? _A._ Mr. Hall decidedly
objected--

Mr. CROWLEY: I submit to the Court that unless the counsel
expects to change the version given by the other witnesses, it is
not necessary to take up time.

The COURT: As a matter of discretion, I don't see how it will be
any benefit. It was fully related by the others, and doubtless
correctly.

Mr. CROWLEY: It is not disputed.

The WITNESS: I would like to say, if I might be allowed by the
Court, that the general impression that I swore I was a male
citizen, is an erroneous one.

Mr. VAN VOORHIS: You took the two oaths there, did you? _A._ Yes,
sir.

The COURT: You presented yourself as a female, claiming that you
had a right to vote? _A._ I presented myself not as a female at
all, sir; I presented myself as a citizen of the United States. I
was called to the United States ballot-box by the XIV. Amendment,
not as a female, but as a citizen, and I went there.

Miss Anthony's emphatic reply and intimation that, although a
condemned criminal for having voted, she still believed in her
citizenship as securing that right to her, closed the lips of the
Court, and she was summarily dismissed from the witness-box, and the
case rested.

Mr. Van Voorhis addressed the Court at some length, submitting that
there was no ground whatever to charge these defendants (the
Inspectors) with any criminal offense,

1. Because the women who voted were legal voters. 2. Because they
were challenged and took the oaths which the statute requires of
Electors, and the Inspectors had no right, after such oath, to
reject their votes. 3. Because no malice is shown. Whether the
women were entitled to have their names registered and to vote,
or not, the defendants believed they had such right, and acted in
good faith, according to their best judgment, in allowing the
registry of their names--and in receiving their votes--and
whether they decided right or wrong in point of law, they are not
guilty of any criminal offense.

These points were amplified by the counsel at some length, who closed
by saying, "The defendants should be discharged by the Court." Mr.
Crowley then rose to make his argument, when the Court said:

The COURT: I don't think it is necessary for you to spend time in
argument, Mr. Crowley. I think upon the last authority cited by
the counsel there is no defense in this case. It is entirely
clear that where there is a distinct judicial act, the party
performing the judicial act is not responsible, civilly or
criminally, unless corruption is proven, and in many cases when
corruption is not proven. But where the act is not judicial in
its character--where there is no discretion--then there is no
legal protection. That is the law as laid down in the authority
last quoted, and the authority quoted by Judge Selden in his
opinion. It is undoubtedly good law. They hold expressly in that
case that the inspectors are administrative officers, and not
judicial officers.

Now, this is the point in the case, in my view of it: If there
was any case in which a female was entitled to vote, then it
would be a subject of examination. If a female over the age of
twenty-one was entitled to vote, then it would be within the
judicial authority of the inspectors to examine and determine
whether in the given case the female came within that provision.
If a married woman was entitled to vote, or if a married woman
was not entitled to vote, and a single woman was entitled to
vote, I think the inspectors would have a right in a case before
them, to judge upon the evidence whether the person before them
was married or single. If they decided erroneously, their
judicial character would protect them. But under the law of this
State, as it stands, under no circumstances is a woman entitled
to vote. When Miss Anthony, Mrs. Leyden, and the other ladies
came there and presented themselves for registry, and presented
themselves to offer their votes, when it appeared that they were
women--that they were of the female sex--the power and authority
of the inspectors was at an end. When they act upon a subject
upon which they have no discretion, I think there is no judicial
authority. There is a large range of discretion in regard to the
votes offered by the male sex. If a man offers his vote, there is
a question whether he is a minor--whether he is twenty-one years
of age. The subject is within their jurisdiction. If they decide
correctly, it is well; if they decide erroneously, they act
judicially, and are not liable. If the question is whether the
person presenting his vote is a foreigner or naturalized, or
whether he has been a resident of the State or district for a
sufficient length of time, the subject is all within their
jurisdiction, and they have a right to decide, and are protected
if they decide wrong.

But upon the view which has been taken of this question of the
right of females to vote, by the United States Court at
Washington, and by the adjudication which was made this morning,
upon this subject there is no discretion, and therefore I must
hold that it affords no protection. In that view of the case, is
there anything to go to the jury?

Mr. VAN VOORHIS: Yes, your honor. The COURT: What?

Mr. VAN VOORHIS: The jury must pass upon the whole case, and
particularly as to whether any ballots were received for
representative in Congress, or candidates for representative in
Congress, and whether the defendants acted willfully and
maliciously.

The COURT: It is too plain to argue that. Mr. VAN VOORHIS: There
is nothing but circumstantial evidence.

The COURT: Your own witness testified to it. Mr. VAN VOORHIS: But
"knowingly," your honor, implies knowing that it is a vote for
representative in Congress.

The COURT: That comes within the decision of the question of law.
I don't see that there is anything to go to the jury. Mr. VAN
VOORHIS: I can not take your honor's view of the case, but of
course must submit to it. We ask to go to the jury upon this
whole case, and claim that in this case, as in all criminal
cases, the right of trial by jury is made inviolate by the
Constitution--that the Court has no power to take it from the
jury.



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