Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 52

SPECIAL SEC TION
The D.C. Bar is counting down to its
2020 Conference highlighting the
centennial of women's right to vote.
This is the first in a series of articles that
focus on the decades-long movement
that paved the way for the ratification
of the 19th Amendment, paying
homage to the countless women
whose persistence and sacrifice
changed the course of history.

AFTER THE

FIRST
VOTE
Charting Women's Gains

Since the 19th Amendment
By Tracy Schorn

U

.S. State Department attorney by day, amateur historian by night,
D.C. Bar member Dorothy Patton spent the last year researching
the 19th Amendment and all the legislative accomplishments of
women since gaining the right to vote. Her resulting self-published
book, From Suffragists to Senators: A Century of Laws by Women Since
1920, looks at the run-up to the amendment and celebrates some of
the laws American women have championed that support families,
invest in education, protect consumers, and much more.
The book, which starts with an exchange between Abigail Adams
and John Adams, takes readers through every decade since 1920,
highlighting some of the big laws women have fought for since
suffrage.
"I wanted to show, very concretely, what women do when they are
full citizens, when they lead, when they hold those positions, when
they bring the diversity of their experience to bear. These are the
awesome things we get: consumer protection, maternal and child
health, Amber alerts," Patton says. "From the very beginning of this
country, women knew they were being left out and wanted to do
something about it."

Dorothy Patton pictured in front of the "Votes for Women" exhibition
at the National Portrait Gallery.
What prompted you to write the book?
The centennial [of the 19th Amendment] is the perfect time to stop and
reflect on our democracy. The suffragists yearned for democracy, and
they knew that if they did not have a vote, their government wouldn't
reflect them.
Tell us about the progression of women's rights. Not every woman
was for suffrage.
I think that the passage of the 14th Amendment - the first time voters
were specified as exclusively male - resulted in women feeling like,
"Come on! That's quite enough! We've got to fix [suffrage] for the whole
nation. It's not going to work."

Patton recently sat down with Washington Lawyer to talk about her
book and why it is "every citizen's job to enable and protect our
democracy" by voting. This interview has been condensed and edited.

One of the first acts that passed after women's suffrage was a mother-andchild health bill - the Sheppard-Towner Act - which provided federal
funding for maternity and child care. Alice Mary Robertson [Editors' note:
Robertson was a representative from Oklahoma from 1921 to 1923 and the
second woman to serve in the U.S. Congress] opposed it because she said
it was dangerous class legislation, separating women from men. Women
are as diverse as everyone else, so not everybody agreed.

52 WASHINGTON LAWYER

Photo: Patrice Gilbert Photography

A graduate of NYU School of Law, Patton has worked in private
practice, on Capitol Hill, and in federal agencies in Washington, D.C.

*

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
The Opioid Litigation Wars
The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Combating Secondary Trauma
Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Taking The Stand
On Further Review
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking Of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 5
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Opioid Litigation Wars
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 18
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Combating Secondary Trauma
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Taking The Stand
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 44
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Speaking Of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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