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Amendment, and
this omission of the word "white" was designed to make the State
Constitution conform to the Amendment, so far as the negro was
concerned, leaving the women citizens of the United States still
under the ban of "involuntary servitude," in plain violation of
the Amendment.

So that, while the negro votes to-day in Missouri, there is not a
syllable of affirmative legislation by the State conferring the
right upon him. Whence, then, does he derive it? There is but one
reply. The XIV. Amendment conferred upon the negro race in this
country citizenship of the United States, and the ballot followed
as an incident to that condition. Or, to use the more forcible
language of this Court, in the Slaughter-house cases (16 Wall.,
71), "the negro having, by the XIV. Amendment, been declared a
citizen of the United States, is thus made a voter in every State
of the Union." If this be true of the negro citizen of the United
States, it is equally true of the woman citizen. And we invoke
the interposition of of this Court to effect, by its decree, that
which the Supreme Court of Missouri should have done, and declare
that this objectionable word must be omitted, or considered as
omitted from the Constitution and registration law of said State.

It can not be pretended that the Constitution of the United
States makes, or permits to be made, any distinction between its
citizens in their rights and privileges; that the negro has a
right which is denied to the woman. The discrimination,
therefore, made and continued by the State of Missouri, of which
we complain, is an unjustifiable act of arbitrary power, not of
right, and can be designated by no other term.

We proceed with our quotation from the opinion:

In this changed state of affairs, it was thought by those
who originated and adopted this Amendment, that it was
absolutely necessary that these emancipated people should
have the elective franchise, in order to enable them to
protect themselves against unfriendly legislation, in which
they could take no part; that unless these people had the
right to vote, and thus protect themselves against
oppression, their freedom from slavery would be a mockery,
and their condition but little improved. It was to remedy
this that the XIV. Amendment to the Constitution was
adopted. It was to compel the former slave States to give
these freedmen the right of suffrage, and to give them all
of the rights of other citizens of the respective States,
and thus make them equal with other citizens before the law.

It would be impossible for us to give any better reason for
woman's need of the ballot than the court has here given for that
of the negro, except that woman's condition is even more helpless
than his--"unless these people had the right to vote, and thus
protect themselves against oppression, their freedom from slavery
would be a mockery." How an American judge, with the claim of an
American citizen before him, for the protection, which, as he
truly says, this ballot alone can give, could see its lawfulness
and justice in the one case, and not in the other, passes our
comprehension.

We again quote from the opinion:

It was only intended to give the freedmen the same rights
that were secured to all other classes of citizens in the
State, and that if the other male inhabitants of the State
over the age of twenty-one years enjoyed the right of
suffrage, so should the males among the freedmen over the
age of twenty-one years enjoy the same right; it was not
intended that females, or persons under the age of
twenty-one years, should have the right of suffrage
conferred on them.

In reply to this, we might content ourselves with saying that it
is mere assertion, and can hardly be dignified as argument; but
we answer, that if the XIV. Amendment does not secure the ballot
to woman, neither does it to the negro; for it does not in terms
confer the ballot upon any one. As we have already shown, it is
the altered condition of citizenship that secures to the negro
this right; but this plaintiff might well reply, I was born to
that condition, and yet am denied its privileges.

We quote again, and finally, from the opinion:

This is not only shown by the history of the times when the
Amendment was adopted, and the circumstances which produced
it, but by reference to the second section of said
Amendment, it will be seen that the right to restrict the
right of suffrage to the male inhabitants by a State is
clearly recognized. If "the right to vote, etc., is denied
to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being
twenty-one years of age," etc., is the language used. This
clearly recognizes the right, and seems to anticipate the
exercise of the right on the part of the States, to restrict
the right of suffrage to the male inhabitants.

We doubt if an instance can be found of a more complete
misconception of the meaning and intention of the law. So far
from its being a recognition of the right of the States to
restrict the right to suffrage of males, it has an exactly
opposite meaning. It was intended as a punishment on the States
if they did this thing. It is no more a justification or
authorization of the act than is the law punishing larceny an
authority for stealing! Its object was to punish the States as
such, which, but for this provision, could not have been done by
diminishing their representation accordingly; and it was designed
as a still further security for the rights of the colored
population. But, even if it could be held to recognize a right on
the part of the State to disfranchise any one, it would only
extend to "males," not to females. They, as "citizens of the
United States," are embraced in, and protected by, the broad
language of the Amendment; a right that is fundamental, can not
be taken away by implication. But more than this, the XIV.
Amendment was an addition to the organic law of a great nation,
intended to enlarge the area of human freedom, and secure more
firmly individual rights. It is absurd to impute to the
law-makers a design at the same time to restrict those rights.

Although the point is not alluded to by the Supreme Court of
Missouri, yet, as we desire to meet every possible objection, we
think this a proper place to notice an argument sometimes put
forward, based upon the XV. Amendment. It is of the nature of
what is termed in law a negative pregnant, or, the familiar maxim
of "the expression of one thing is the exclusion of another." As
this Amendment says, that the right of citizens of the United
States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United
States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous
condition of servitude, it is claimed by some that it may be
abridged on other grounds. But, aside from the well-known history
of this Amendment, as shown by the debates in Congress, of which
this court will take notice when necessary, and which show that
the sole object and purpose of this Amendment was to still
further protect the negro race, the IX. Amendment to the
Constitution effectually puts an end to the application of this
principle by declaring that the enumeration in the Constitution
of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage
others retained by the people. And Mr. Justice Story, in his
Commentary says, 1905:

This clause was manifestly introduced to prevent any
perverse or ingenious misapplication of the well-known
maxim, that an affirmative in particular cases implies a
negative in all others; and, _e converso_, that a negative
in particular cases implies an affirmative in all others.
The maxim, rightly understood, is perfectly sound and safe;
but it has often been forced from its natural meaning into
the support of the most dangerous political heresies. The
Amendment was undoubtedly suggested by the reasoning of the
Federalist on the subject of a general bill of rights and
trial by jury. Federalist No. 83-84.

We ask the court to consider what it is to be disfranchised; not
this plaintiff only, but an entire class of people, utterly
deprived of all voice in the government under which they live! We
say it is to her, and to them, a Despotism, and not a Republic.
What matters it that the tyranny be of many instead of one?
Society shudders at the thought of putting a fraudulent ballot
into the ballot-box! What is the difference between putting a
fraudulent ballot in, and keeping a lawful ballot out? Her
disfranchised condition is a badge of servitude. [Mr. Justice
Bradley in the Grant parish case.] Take one illustration,
evidenced by a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Missouri,
in Clark _vs._ The National Bank of the State of Missouri, 47 Mo.
Rep., 1. We use our own words, but we state it correctly; that a
married woman can not, by the law of Missouri, own a dollar's
worth of personal property, except by the consent of another! it
makes no difference that that other is her husband. This, it is
true, is a State law, a matter exclusively of State legislation;
but we mention it to show how utterly helpless and powerless her
condition is without the ballot.

Either we must give up the principles announced in the
Declaration of Independence, that governments derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed; and are formed by the
people to protect their rights, not to withhold them; or we must
acknowledge the truth contended for by the plaintiff, that
citizenship carries with it every incident to every citizen
alike.



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