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They may
require that they shall be of a certain age, be of sane mind, be
free from crime, etc., because these are conditions for the good
of the whole, and to which all citizens, sooner or later, may
attain. But to single out a class of citizens and say to them,
"Notwithstanding you possess all these qualifications, you shall
never vote, or take part in your government," what is it but a
bill of attainder?

To show that the mere regulation of this matter of suffrage was
left to the States for the purpose we have indicated, and not to
their absolute and ultimate control, we will now quote the
language of one of the framers of the Constitution, to whom,
indeed, has been applied the epithet of "Father of the
Constitution"--James Madison; and this, too, in reply to
questions by Mr. Monroe, who sought an explanation on these very
points. We quote from the debates in the Virginia convention upon
the adoption of the Federal Constitution:

Mr. MONROE wished that the honorable gentleman who had been
in the Federal Convention would give information respecting
the clause concerning elections. He wished to know why
Congress had an ultimate control over the time, place, and
manner of elections of Representatives, and the time and
manner of that of Senators, and also why there was an
exception as to the place of electing Senators.

Mr. MADISON: Mr. Chairman, the reason of the exception was,
that if Congress could fix the place of choosing the
Senators, it might compel the State Legislatures to elect
them in a different place from that of their usual sessions,
which would produce some inconvenience, and was not
necessary for the object of regulating the elections. But it
was necessary to give the General Government a control over
the time and manner of choosing the Senators, to prevent its
own dissolution.

With respect to the other point, it was thought that the
regulation of time, place, and manner of electing the
Representatives should be uniform throughout the continent.
Some States might regulate the elections on the principles
of equality, and others might regulate them otherwise. This
diversity would be obviously unjust. Elections are regulated
now unequally in some States, particularly South Carolina,
with respect to Charleston, which is represented by thirty
members.

Should the people of any State by any means be deprived of
the right of suffrage, it was judged proper that it should
be remedied by the General Government.

It was found impossible to fix the time, place, and manner
of the election of Representatives in the Constitution. It
was found necessary to leave the regulation of these, in the
first place, to the State Government, as being best
acquainted with the situation of the people, subject to the
control of the General Government, in order to enable it to
produce uniformity, and prevent its own dissolution. And,
considering the State Governments and General Government as
distinct bodies, acting in different and independent
capacities for the people, it was thought the particular
regulations should be submitted to the former and the
general regulations to the latter. Were they exclusively
under the control of the State Governments, the General
Government might easily be dissolved. But if they be
regulated properly by the State Legislature, the
Congressional control will very properly never be exercised.
The power appears to me satisfactory, and as unlikely to be
abused as any part of the Constitution. (Elliot's Debates,
vol. 2, pages 276-7.)

It seems to us that nothing can be clearer or plainer than this,
coming to us, as it does, with all the weight and authority of
Mr. Madison himself. But it may be asked: If this be so, why was
not the question sooner raised? We answer, at that very time, and
for nearly twenty years afterward, women did vote, unquestioned
and undisputed, in one of the States (New Jersey). The men who
framed the Constitution were then living--some of them in this
very State; yet we hear no mention of its being unconstitutional,
no objection made to it whatever.

It is true that subsequently this provision was omitted (about
1807) in the revisal of the State Constitution (as we think, very
unjustly), but the fact remains of the unquestioned exercise of
this privilege by women at the very time the Federal Constitution
was adopted, and for years afterward. This fact is worth a
thousand theories. Again, we think that one of the causes of the
popular error on this subject arises from forgetting or
overlooking the dual nature of our citizenship.

We are citizens of a State, as well as of the United States. This
is alluded to in several of the early cases, and its importance
is clearly pointed out. We quote, first, from Talbut _vs._
Jansen, 3 Dallas, Sup. Ct. Rep., 153 (1795), in which Mr. Justice
Patterson says: "The act of the Legislature of Virginia does not
apply. Ballard was a citizen of Virginia, and also of the United
States. If the Legislature of Virginia pass an act specifying the
causes of expatriation and prescribing the manner in which it is
to be effected by the citizens of that State, what can be its
operation on the citizens of the United States?"

If the act of Virginia affects Ballard's citizenship so far as
respects that State, can it touch his citizenship so far as
regards the United States? Allegiance to a particular State is
one thing; allegiance to the United States is another. Will it be
said that the renunciation of allegiance to the former implies or
draws after it a renunciation of allegiance to the latter? The
sovereignties are different; the allegiance is different; the
right, too, may be different. Our situation being new,
unavoidably creates new and intricate questions. We have
sovereignties moving within a sovereignty.

Judge Cabell, also of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia,
alludes to it briefly in the case of Murray _vs._ McCarty, 2
Munford, 398. He says: "But although the Constitution of the
United States has wisely given to the citizens of each State the
privileges of a citizen of any other State, yet it clearly
recognizes the distinction between the character of a citizen of
the United States and a citizen of any individual State, and also
of citizens of different States," etc. Or, if a still further and
later authority be desired, we have it in the language of
Chief-Justice Taney, who says, in the Dred Scott case:

In discussing this question we must not confound the rights
of citizenship, which a State may confer within its own
limits, and the rights of citizenship as a member of the
Union. It does not by any means follow, because he has all
the rights and privileges of a citizen of a State, that he
must be a citizen of the United States.... But if he rank as
a citizen of the State to which he belongs, within the
meaning of the Constitution of the United States, then,
whenever he goes into another State, the Constitution
clothes him as to the rights of person, with all the
privileges and immunities which belong to citizens of the
State. And if persons of the African race are citizens of a
State, and of the United States, they would be entitled to
all of these privileges and immunities in every State, and
the State could not restrict them; for they would hold these
privileges and immunities under the paramount authority of
the Federal Government, and its courts would be bound to
maintain and enforce them, the Constitution and laws of the
State to the contrary notwithstanding. And if the States
could limit or restrict them, or place the party in an
inferior grade, this clause of the Constitution would be
unmeaning, and could have no operation, and would give no
rights to the citizen when in another State. He would have
none but what the State itself chose to allow him. This is
evidently not the construction or meaning of the clause in
question. It guarantees rights to the citizen, and the State
can not withhold them. (Dred Scott _vs._ Sanford, 19
Howard's Rep., pp. 405 and 422.)

Now, substitute in the above, for "persons of the African race,"
women, who are "citizens of the State and of the United States,"
and you have the key to the whole position. We will now consider
the clauses of the Constitution before recited, somewhat in
detail:

As to "bills of attainder," "due process of law," etc. "No State
shall pass any bill of attainder," etc. A bill of attainder is a
legislative act which inflicts punishment without a judicial
trial. If the punishment be less than death, the act is termed a
bill of pains and penalties. Within the meaning of the
Constitution, bills of attainder include bills of pains and
penalties. In these cases the legislative body, in addition to
its legitimate functions, exercises the powers and office of
judge; it assumes, in the language of the text-book, judicial
magistracy; it pronounces upon the guilt of the party, without
any of the forms or safeguards of trial; it determines the
sufficiency of the proofs produced, whether conformable to the
rules of evidence or otherwise, and it fixes the degree of
punishment in accordance with its own notions of the enormity of
the offense.



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