State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Women’s Suffrage

Minor v. Happersett: The Supreme Court and Women’s Suffrage

By: Caiti Anderson
Following the Civil War, the women’s suffrage movement followed two different paths to gain the right to vote. The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) advocated a state-by-state approach to suffrage, lobbying individual states to pass laws allowing women to vote. On the other hand, the more radical organization, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), pushed women’s suffrage on a national scale. After the Fifteenth Amendment excluded women, NWSA leaders brainstormed other ways women could gain suffrage, including an additional amendment. However, there were some who believed that the equal rights clause of the Fourteenth Amendment already granted women the right to vote. In order to prove this, the women’s suffrage movement needed a woman to attempt to register to vote. Upon being turned away, this woman would sue and continually appeal until her case came before the Supreme Court. As one of the architects of this plan, Virginia Minor fit the description perfectly.

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The Trial of Susan B. Anthony: A Book Review

By: Caiti Anderson

SBAThe women’s suffrage movement developed and empowered some of the most infamous women in American history. The name Susan B. Anthony is inextricably linked to the effort to expand voting rights. Although many can recognize Anthony as an important leader in the suffrage movement, remarkably few know that she voted in the 1872 presidential election and was subsequently arrested for illegal voting. Her trial made national news and marked the initial use of civil disobedience within the women’s suffrage movement. Martin Naparsteck explores Anthony’s trial in the book, The Trial of Susan B. Anthony: An Illegal Vote, a Courtroom Conviction and a Step Toward Women’s Suffrage.

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“Remember the Ladies”

By: Caiti Anderson

Suff.On March 31, 1776, Abagail Adams wrote her now infamous “Remember the Ladies” letter to her husband, John Adams.  Abigail urged John to, “…Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable [sic] to them than your ancestors…. If perticuliar [sic] care and attention is not paid to the Laidies [sic] we are determined to foment a Rebelion [sic], and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”  Abigail’s letter predicted the onset of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States by more than seventy years.  However, the full realization of this dream was not achieved until August 26, 1920, one-hundred and forty-four years after Abigail’s entreating words.  In celebration of the ninety-fifth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, today’s post will focus on the history surrounding women’s battle for the right to vote. Continue reading

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