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When the Federal elector, therefore, comes to
vote for United States officers, he finds that he must simply
conform to the regulations laid down by the State for State
voters. But this confers upon the State no authority over the
Federal elector's right of suffrage; far less does it give the
State authority to deprive the Federal elector of this right,
under pretense of laying down for its own citizens an arbitrary
and impossible condition. In the nature of things, a republican
government could not part with this right of suffrage. As
Hamilton says, such right is justly regarded as a fundamental
article in such government. To part with it, would be to part
with its chiefest attribute of sovereignty, and nothing of the
kind was done, or intended.

Except so far, then, as this decision makes it so, there is not a
particle of authority vested in the States to deny this right of
Federal suffrage to the citizen of the United States. The
regulation of the exercise of the franchise is within their
control, as above stated, but the right itself is not theirs to
give or to withhold. _The right to vote for Federal officers_ is
wholly distinct from the right to vote for State officers; but
the fact of these two rights being blended in one and the same
person, and being usually exercised at the same time, has given
rise to the whole difficulty. In consequence of the fact of the
election being conducted by State officers, the State providing
all the machinery for voting, etc., we have become accustomed,
from long habit, to associate in our minds the one franchise with
the other, and thus confound rights that are wholly separate and
distinct.

We notice, in conclusion, the remark of the court touching the
non-assertion heretofore of this right by any one of the class
now claiming to be entitled to it, and the intimation, or
insinuation, that if the right really existed, it would have been
claimed before, etc. It is true that Mrs. Minor's case is of
"first impression," in the Supreme Court of the United States;
but we fail to see that this fact has anything to do with the
principle involved, or that there can be any such thing as a
"limitation" of rights that are fundamental. If the right exists,
and has a constitutional recognition, the time of its assertion
has nothing to do with it. Only weak minds will be influenced by
a fallacy like this. Because the women of a former day did not
see and feel the necessity of making this claim, is no reason why
those who do now see and feel that necessity should have that
claim denied. "Time has no more connection with, nor influence
upon principle, than principle has upon time. The wrong which
began a thousand years ago, is as much a wrong as if it began
to-day; and the right which originates to-day, is as much a right
as if it had the sanction of a thousand years. Time, with respect
to principles, is an eternal now. It has no operation upon them,
it changes nothing of their nature and qualities." (Paine's
Political Works, vol. 2, p. 328--Dissertation on Government.)

We are fully conscious that the subject upon which we have
written is by no means exhausted; the point, especially in
reference to bills of attainder, being wholly untouched. But the
limits of a single article will not admit of a full discussion of
the subject. Indeed, a treatise upon suffrage is one of the wants
of the profession. We leave it, however, to the candid judgment
of our readers, if we have not fully demonstrated the right of
Federal suffrage to be a necessary privilege of a citizen of the
United States, and, according to the court's own admission, such
being the case, the plaintiff was entitled to the relief sought.

Thus closed woman's struggle for National protection of her civil and
political rights under the XIV. Amendment. In the case of Myra
Bradwell, which was commenced in September, 1869, two years before the
others, Chief-Justice Chase, one of the best and wisest Judges that
ever honored the American bench, dissented from the opinion of the
Supreme Court: that the fact of United States citizenship did not
secure to woman the right to practice law, and that a married woman
rested under a special disability in regard to her civil rights, thus
sustaining the action of Illinois in refusing to admit Mrs. Bradwell
to the bar of that State.

The decision in the case of Mrs. Minor, that the political rights of
women were wholly under the control of their respective States was
still more emphatic and discouraging. Had Judge Chase lived, we have
every reason to believe that in this case too, he would have
dissented, and that his opinion would have had great weight in the
general discussion. Although defeated at every point, woman's claim as
a citizen of the United States to the Federal franchise is placed upon
record in the highest court of the Nation, and there it will remain
forever. As Milton so grandly says in Paradise Lost:

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost: th' unconquerable will
And courage never to submit or yield!


FOOTNOTES:

[164] The elections in New Hampshire were held in the spring in former
years.

[165] An account of Mrs. Gardner's voting will be found in the
Michigan chapter.

[166] WOMAN SUFFRAGE IN THE COURTS.--SHAKESPEARE REVIVED.

In the case of Hamlet _vs._ Rex, Shakespeare's reports, occurs the
following:

SCENE--CHURCHYARD.--_Enter two clowns with spades._

_First Clown._ Is she to be buried in Christian burial that wilfully
seeks her own salvation?

_Second Clown._ I tell thee, she is; therefore make her grave
straight. The crowner hath set on her and finds it Christian burial.

_First Clown._ How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own
defense?

_Second Clown._ Why,'tis found so.

_First Clown._ It must be so, _se offendendo_; it can not be else. For
here lies the point. If I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act;
and an act has three branches--it is to act, to do, and to perform.
Argal, she drowned herself wittingly.

_Second Clown._ Nay, but hear you good man, deliver.

_First Clown._ Give me leave. Here lies the water. Good. Here stands
the man. Good. If the man goes to this water and drowns himself, it is
nil he, will he, he goes. Mark you that. But if the water come to him
and drown him, he drowns not himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of
his own death shortens not his own life.

_Second Clown._ But is this law?

_First Clown._ Ay, marry is't, crowner quest law.

It hardly needed any better authority than the above to convince
simple-minded people of the truth of the observation made by
Blackstone that "law is the perfection of human reason." But if law is
great, those who expound it are greater.

The woman suffrage trial came on. The judges endeavored to follow the
arguments as far as possible, and to religiously earn their salaries
by the attention given, if no more. The arguments were finally
finished, and the women of the country waited expectantly to hear
their legal status defined.

It took just one week for the united judicial wisdom of this District
to consider this case in all its bearings, and then the decision came.
It was about as follows:

SCENE--DISTRICT COURT-ROOM.--_Enter Judges with law books._

_First Judge._ Women are voters but they can't vote. Voting is a
privilege and not a natural right, and must be conferred; it has
clearly been conferred by the supreme law of the land, therefore women
can not vote. A little voting is a good thing, but too much voting is
injurious to public interests, as is instanced in our large cities. If
women vote, there would be more voting than at present, consequently
women are not entitled to vote. The Constitution gives women the right
to vote. The organic law of the district does not. The latter, of
course, is void where it conflicts with the former, therefore can not
women vote. Congress has clearly recognized woman's right to the
ballot, wily or nily. But the ballot must come to the woman, not she
to the ballot, or else the law is violated. Congress must go further,
and point out to women how the ballot must come to her, or else will
she not be given Christian reception at the polls who willfully seek
to vote thereat. Therefore can not women vote.

_Second Judge._ Women are men, but men are not women. The former
include the latter, but the latter won't be included. That is to say,
the law regards men as women but not males as females. It is not every
right which can be exercised, as society will not admit of it. The
law, which is above society, says women shall vote, but society has
not acceded, and hence this court can not interfere. Therefore, I
concur that women can not vote.

_Third Judge._ I do not know but that the better way would have been
for Congress to have done otherwise than it did. Why it did as it did
is a question. But it did. It might have done more, or less, or both.
It might have done otherwise. In either case it would have done so.
And then it would have been. But as it is, it is perhaps as well as if
it should have been. Therefore can not women vote.

_Plaintiffs' Attorneys._ But is this law?

_The Three Judges._ Verily is't the law of the Supreme Court of the
District of Columbia.

This parody was written by J. W. Knowlton, son-in-law of Mr. Riddle.

[167] A report of this trial will be found in the California chapter.

[168] WHEREAS, Complaint has this day been made by ---- on oath before
me, William C. Storrs, commissioner, charging that Susan B. Anthony,
on or about the fifth day of November, 1872, at the city of Rochester,
N. Y., at an election held in the eighth ward of the city of Rochester
aforesaid, for a representative in the Congress of the United States,
did then and there vote for representative in Congress in the United
States, without having a lawful right to vote and in violation of
Section 19 of an act of Congress approved May 31, 1870, entitled "An
act to enforce the right of citizens of the United States to vote in
the several States of this Union and for other purposes."

[169] The following ladies voted: Mrs.



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