Women Were Never Deprived of the Right to Vote by the Founding Fathers

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FOUNDING FATHERS_1

Friday is a special anniversary. It was on March 8, 1884 that Susan B. Anthony addressed the US House Judiciary Committee to argue for an amendment to the US Constitution which would guarantee women the right to vote.That amendment was not passed, however, until June 4, 1919.

It should not have been necessary.

Forget all you have been told about the Founding Fathers depriving blacks and women of the right to vote because it is not true. The Constitution deprived no one of the right to vote and assumed everyone had that right but left it to the states to decide the qualifications for voting.

Article I, Section 2 left the decision to states: “the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Women in New Jersey were voting since the nation’s founding and is some local jurisdictions non-whites could vote though both groups had to meet property requirements.

Amendments reflecting social change put clamps on the states intrusions into the fundamental right to vote. The amendments did not “give” the right to vote, they “guaranteed” it as the Daily Signal recently pointed out (see the link below).

The Founding Fathers assumed the right to vote was a natural right as they did with all of our natural rights.

The Tenth Amendment, a nod to the Anti-Federalists, the common men of their day, declared that all powers not expressly granted to Congress were reserved to the states.

The Declaration of Independence reinforced the right of all citizens to vote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

The states violated the Constitution and the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, not the Founding Fathers.

In an article in the Atlantic, Garrett Epps, a constitutional law and creative writing professor at the University of Baltimore, explains that not only is there a right to vote in the Constitution, but it’s the single right that appears most often in the Constitution’s text.

In fact, Epps wrote, four separate Amendments – the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th – even use the same powerful language to protect it: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged . . . .”  The right to vote is just as much a constitutional right as any other embodied in our Constitution.

AMENDMENT 15

Section 1
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude —

Section 2
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT 19

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT 24

Section 1

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT 26

Section 1

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

SOURCE: THE DAILY SIGNAL

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