1922 February 27

Supreme Court Upholds 19th Amendment Granting Women the Right to vote


It may seem a little odd that a part of the Constitution would be challenged as being unconstitutional, but it happened. In Leser v. Garnett, decided on this day, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the Nineteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs made three arguments: First, that the suffrage amendment, ratified on August 18, 1920, was invalid due to its “character,” specifically by expanding the electorate. The Court rejected the argument, citing the Fifteenth Amendment barring denial of the right to vote on the basis of race, color or condition of previous servitude. The second argument: The amendment was invalid because several states that ratified it had state constitutions that denied women the right to vote. The third argument: The ratifications of two states were invalid because they did not follow their own procedures.

Read the history of the Case: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=258&page=130

Learn more about the suffrage campaign: Mary Walton, A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot (2010)

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