Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 53

SPECIAL SEC TION

The women's rights periodical Woman's Journal
was founded on January 8, 1870, with Howe
serving as editor for 20 years.
In November 1872, Anthony of the NWSA tried
to vote on election day in Rochester, New York,
and was arrested for violating federal election
laws. Convicted by the judge without a poll of
the jury that heard her case, Anthony was fined
but not ordered to jail. Thus, she could not take
her case to the Supreme Court on a writ of
habeas corpus. She never paid the fine.
In 1874, the Supreme Court ruled in Minor
v. Happersett that, under the U.S. Constitution,
the states determined the political rights of
women. In response to this ruling, Stanton and
Anthony launched a petition for a constitutional amendment to give women the right
to vote. So impressive was the progress of the
petition that the rival AWSA helped to circulate
it to Congress.
When a national women's suffrage amend--
ment was introduced in Congress in 1878, the
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, headed
by Frances Willard, joined the campaign for
passage. To help the effort, Stanton, Anthony,
and Matilda Joslyn Gage co-authored volumes
1 and 2 of the "History of Women Suffrage" in
1881 and 1882, respectively. The bill finally went
to the Senate, where it was defeated in 1887. In
1884 and again in 1888, Belva Ann Lockwood,
a lawyer and NWSA activist, ran unsuccessfully
for U.S. president as a candidate of the National
Equal Rights Party.
Beginning in 1888, two years of negotiations
between Stanton and Anthony of the NWSA
and Stone of the AWSA succeeded in a merger
of the rival groups into the new National
American Woman Suffrage Association
(NAWSA). Stanton became its first president
in 1890, and Anthony succeeded her in 1892.
The combined group focused on obtaining the
franchise for women primarily by a federal constitutional amendment and secondarily by
state legislation.
The NAWSA soon became instrumental in
obtaining enfranchisement for women in three
states: Colorado in 1893, Utah in 1896, and
Idaho, also in 1896. Anthony served as NAWSA
president until she was succeeded by Carrie

Chapman Catt in 1900. Under Anna
Howard Shaw, the NAWSA was
able to obtain the right for women
to vote in Washington (1910), in
California (1911), and in three more
states - Oregon, Kansas, and
Arizona (1912). The Alaska Territory
followed in 1913, then Montana
and Nevada in 1914.
Impatient with progress, NAWSA
leader Alice Paul left the organization in 1916 to form the National
Woman's Party (NWP), which
became the first group to picket
Women voting for the first time in the District of Columbia
outside the White House. President
in November 1920.
Woodrow Wilson ignored the protesters for six months. On June 20,
dispel the fears that surrounded women's
1917, Paul and other NWP suffragentry into the public arena.
ists, who always wore white clothing, unfurled
a banner that said: "We, the women of America, On October 1, 1918, the Senate took up the
suffrage bill. While Congress debated the
tell you that America is not a democracy.
measure, Paul traversed the country wearing
Twenty million American Women are denied
a prison uniform and giving speeches. The
the right to vote. President Wilson is the chief
proposed amendment passed easily in the
opponent of their national enfranchisement."
House of Representatives; it was approved by
Another banner raised on August 13, 1917,
the Senate 56-25 on June 4, 1919. The 19th
referred to the president as "Kaiser Wilson" and
Amendment, which prohibited state and
compared the plight of American women with
federal sex-based restrictions on voting, was
that of German people.
ratified by the required three-fourths of the
With this manner of protest, the women were
states on August 18, 1920. Though historians
subject to arrests and many were jailed.
cannot say how many women voted in
Another tactic of the NWP was holding watch
November 1920, the total popular vote
fires, which involved burning copies of Wilson's
increased by 8 million from 1916.
speeches outside the White House or across
Native Americans were granted the right to
the street in Lafayette Park. The NWP convote when President Calvin Coolidge signed
tinued to hold watch fires even as World War I
and enacted into law the Indian Citizenship Act
raged, drawing criticism from the public and
in 1924. But even after the 19th Amendment
other suffrage groups such as the NAWSA for
was ratified and the Indian Citizenship Act
being unpatriotic. On October 17, 1917, Paul
came into effect, some women were still facing
was sentenced to seven months in federal
voting barriers. For instance, the poll tax in
prison. She went on a hunger strike, prompting
some states was so prohibitive that the poor
prison authorities to force feed her. Paul was
could not afford to vote. Likewise, literacy tests
paroled on November 30, 1917.
were used primarily in southern and southWilson relented in 1918 and advocated for
western states to prevent African Americans
women's suffrage as a war measure in a
and Native Americans, respectively, from
September speech to Congress. Historian Leslie
voting.
Parker Hume argues that World War I changed
It was not until 1964 when the 24th Amend-
the popular mood. She wrote:
ment w-as adopted to make poll taxes illegal
The women's contribution to the war effort
and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed
challenged the notion of women's physical
to outlaw literacy tests that women of color
and mental inferiority and made it more difwere finally able to vote.
ficult to maintain that women were, both by
Joseph Scafetta Jr. is senior counsel at the law firm
constitution and temperament, unfit to vote
of Ditthavong & Steiner in Alexandria, Virginia. He
. . . But the vote was much more than simply
is a member of the bars of Pennsylvania, the
a reward for war work; the point was that
District of Columbia, and Virginia.
women's participation in the war helped to

JULY/AUGUST 2020

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER

53

Universal History Archive/Getty Images

12, 1870, the acting governor of the Utah
Territory, S. A. Mann, approved a law allowing
women 21 and older to vote. Utah women
were disenfranchised by the Edmunds-Tucker
Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1887.



Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Election Coverage
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Staying Afloat feature
Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Annual Report
Taking the Stand
The Learning Curve
On Further Review
Member Spotlight -
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Women's Suffrage special section
Speaking of Ethics
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 10
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Staying Afloat feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 34
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Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 38
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Member Spotlight -
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Women's Suffrage special section
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - A Slice of Wry
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