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Accordingly the indomitable old lady was
found guilty of violating the law regulating the purity of the
ballot-box, and fined one hundred dollars and costs. A good many
journals seem to regard this as a good joke on Susan B, as they call
her, and make it the excuse for more poor jokes of their own. It may
be stupid to confess it, but we can not see where the laugh comes in.
If it is a mere question of who has got the best of it, Miss Anthony
is still ahead; she has voted, and the American Constitution has
survived the shock. Fining her one hundred dollars does not rub out
that fact that fourteen women voted, and went home, and the world
jogged on as before. The decision of the judge does not prove that it
is wrong for women to vote, it does not even prove that Miss Anthony
did wrong in voting. It only shows that one judge on the bench differs
in opinion from other equally well qualified judges off the bench. It
is not our province to find fault with this decision of the United
States Court at Rochester. Miss Anthony may be wrong in attempting to
vote; of that we are not certain. But of the greater question back of
it, of Miss Anthony's inherent right to vote we have no question, and
that after all is the more important matter. This Rochester breakwater
may damn back the stream for a while, but it is bound to come,
sweeping away all barriers. The opposition to extending the suffrage
to the other sex is founded alone on prejudice arising from social
custom. Reason and logic are both against it. Women will not be
voters possibly for some years to come; it is not desirable that the
franchise should come too quick; but they are certain to have the full
privilege of citizenship in the end.


[_The Age_, Thursday, July 31, 1873.]

KU-KLUX PRISONERS.

The Ku-Klux prisoners are, it seems, now to be released. They are
persons some of whom had committed assaults and other offenses
cognizable by the laws of the States where they lived, and the Ku-Klux
legislation by Congress was a political device as unnecessary as it
was unconstitutional. Perhaps the most ridiculous, as well as the most
unjust prosecution under the Ku-Klux law was that instituted against
Miss Anthony for voting in Rochester. Under her view of her rights,
she presented herself at the polls, and submitted her claims to the
proper officers, who decided that she had a right to vote. She
practiced no fraud or concealment of any kind. She did what every good
citizen here would do, if any doubt arose from assessment,
registration, or residence, as to his right to vote. He would state
the case to the election officers, and abide their decision. Yet this,
we are told, is a criminal offense under the Ku-Klux law, for which a
citizen who has done exactly what he ought to have done, may be fined
and imprisoned as a criminal. Nay, if, as often happens, a point of
doubt is submitted to our Court of Common Pleas and decided in favor
of the applicant, he is still liable to criminal prosecution under the
Federal Ku-Klux law, if a United States Commissioner or Judge differs
from the State Judge in the construction of the State law. Since the
victims of the Ku-Klux act are now receiving pardons, we hope the fine
of $100 unlawfully imposed on Miss Anthony may be remitted. We do not
think there was a case of more gross injustice ever practiced under
forms of law, than the conviction of that lady for a criminal offense
in voting, with the assent of the legal election officers to whom her
right was submitted. If all the victims of this unconstitutional law
were as innocent as she was, they can not be too soon released. Even
those who were guilty of offenses cognizable by the State law, were
unjustly tried and condemned under an unconstitutional statute passed
for political effect.


[From the Philadelphia _Age_].

THE FUNNY CASE OF MISS ANTHONY.

The case of Miss Susan B. Anthony seems to be dismissed with a laugh
by most of the press; but from the first institution of a prosecution
against her under the Ku-Klux law, we have regarded the proceeding as
one in which the injustice was not cloaked by the absurdity. The law
was passed by Congress on a political cry that massacre and outrage
menaced negroes at the polls in the Southern States, and now we have
it used to oppress a woman in Rochester, New York. We are not debarred
from saying "oppressed" because the judge left the fine to be levied
on her property instead of imprisoning her person--in a State in which
women have, we suppose, long been exempt from imprisonment for debt.
But the chief outrage in the case is that it affords the first case,
we believe, in the United States, or anywhere in modern times, of a
conviction for a crime when there was no criminal intent. The proof,
or the presumption of this, is essential to a crime in the criminal
law of every civilized nation. The case of Miss Anthony was that of a
lady who believed that the much vaunted amendments of the Federal
Constitution extended to white women; and many lawyers and Congressmen
have also avowed this opinion. We do not hold it, but we do not doubt
that Miss Anthony does, very sincerely. We think as the Judge says in
her case, that the Federal Constitution has nothing to do with the
matter; that is wholly regulated by the Constitution of New York. But
every word of his argument was equally strong to show that he, a
Federal Judge, had nothing to do with the matter, and that it wholly
belonged to the courts of New York. They know, we presume, no law that
can create a crime without a criminal intention, and we deny the right
of Congress or any earthly authority to pass so monstrous a law. Every
day in criminal courts that point arises. If a man charged with
larceny is proved to have taken the goods of another, but under some
idea that he had a right to them, no matter how erroneous, the
criminal prosecution is instantly dismissed. Our eminent jurist,
Judge King, used to say: "This is a civil suit run mad." Has any
citizen of Philadelphia supposed that if there is a doubt as to his
right to vote--one of those numerous doubts that arise in changes of
residence, time of registration, naturalization, etc.--and wishing
scrupulously to do right, he go to the window and fully and fairly
state his case, and the election officers consider it, and adjudge
that he should vote then and there, has any citizen heretofore known
that he thus became liable to conviction for a crime under the Ku-Klux
laws, if some judge of a court should think the election officers
decided the point erroneously?

Yet that is the doctrine of Miss Anthony's case. Her garb and person
sufficed to tell she was a woman when she approached the polls, and
there was also argument over the matter, exhibiting afresh the fact
notorious at her home, that she claimed a lawful right to vote under
certain amendments of the Constitution. She was no repeater or false
personator, or probably she would not be persecuted, and certainly she
would be pardoned.

She submitted her right to the election officers, and they, the judges
appointed by the law, decided in her favor. It is just the case we
have supposed in Philadelphia, and which often really occurs here, and
may occur anywhere. And now we are told the Ku-Klux law makes this
hitherto laudable and innocent mode of procedure a crime, punishable
with fine and imprisonment! This is the decision over which many
journals are laughing because the first victim is a woman. We can not
see the joke.


[Chicago _Evening Journal_, Dec. 1, 1874].

Mrs. Myra Bradwell, the editor and publisher of the _Legal News_, of
this city, is a warm advocate of woman's rights. In the last number of
the _News_, speaking of Susan B. Anthony, she declares that Judge Ward
Hunt, of the Federal bench, "violated the Constitution of the United
States more, to convict her of illegal voting, than she did in voting,
for he had sworn to support it, she had not."

Sister Myra is evidently not afraid of being hauled up for contempt of
court.


[St. Louis _Daily Globe_, Thursday, June 26, 1873].

MISS ANTHONY'S CASE.

JUDGE HUNT'S DECISION REVIEWED--SHE HAD A RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL.

_Editor of St. Louis Globe_:--I ask the favor of a small space in your
paper to notice the very remarkable decision of Judge Hunt, in the
case of the United States _vs._ Susan B. Anthony.

The Judge tells us "that the right of voting, or the privilege of
voting, is a right or privilege arising under the constitution of the
States, and not of the united States. If the right belongs to any
particular person, it is because such person is entitled to it as a
citizen of the State where he offers to exercise it, and not because
of citizenship of the United States."

If this position be true (which I do not admit), then Judge Hunt
should have pronounced the act of Congress unconstitutional, and
dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction. If the matter belongs
exclusively to the States, then the United States have nothing to do
with it, and clearly have no right to interfere and punish a person
for the (supposed) violation of a State law. But this is one of the
least of the criticisms to which this opinion is exposed. A far graver
one consists in the fact that the defendant was denied the right of a
trial by jury.

The Supreme Court of the United States say: "Another guarantee of
freedom was broken when Milligan was denied a trial by jury. The great
minds of the country have differed on the correct interpretation to be
given to various provisions of the Federal Constitution, and judicial
decision has been often invoked to settle their true meaning; but,
until recently, no one ever doubted that the right of trial by jury
was fortified in the organic law against the power of attack. It is
now assailed; but if ideas can be expressed in words, and language has
any meaning, this right--one of the most valuable in a free
country--is preserved to every one accused of crime, who is not
attached to the army, or navy, or militia in actual service. The VI.
Amendment affirms that in 'all criminal prosecutions the accused shall
enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury,'
language broad enough to embrace all persons and cases."--_Ex parte
Milligan, 4 Wallace, p.



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