Presidential Pardon for Susan B. Anthony on 19th Amendment Centennial

 

President Trump took the occasion of the 100th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment, extending the franchise to American women, to pardon one of the heroes of the long fight for the vote. This is not the first time he used the presidential pardon power to correct a very old wrong. President Trump pardoned Jack Johnson, one of the greatest boxers of all time, and a black man convicted of transporting a white woman (his girlfriend of the moment) across state lines. Now, President Trump pardons Susan B. Anthony, convicted of voting in a federal election when women were ineligible to do so, on the same day he signs a proclamation celebrating women’s participation in American public life.

The women’s suffrage movement took the long hard path of convincing a strong majority of men across the states to support an amendment that would mean men would no longer control our politics exclusively. Ratification of the 19th Amendment was the fruit of women working from 1848 to 1920 to gain the vote in federal elections.

Organized work for women suffrage began in the United States with the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1848, which was called by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, early leaders of Massachusetts and New York, in response to the indignation aroused by the refusal to permit women to take part in the anti-slavery convention of 1840. From the date of that convention the suffrage movement in the United States began the fight that lasted seventy years and ended with victory. Another convention followed in 1852 at Syracuse, N.Y., at which delegates from Canada were present and it was there that Susan B. Anthony assumed leadership of the cause to which she devoted her life.

[.  . .]

The nineteenth amendment, which bears her name, was drafted by Miss Anthony in 1875 and first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator A.A. Sargent of California; and it is in the same language that the new principle of the national law reads:

“Article—, 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 sex.

“Section 2. Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provisions of this article.”

Proclamation on 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment
LAW & JUSTICE | Issued on: August 18, 2020

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to our Constitution was ratified, securing the right to vote for women and marking a monumental step toward the “more perfect Union” envisioned by our Founders.  This milestone in American history was the product of the tireless efforts of suffragists and other advocates for women’s rights, who steadfastly pursued their vision of a more just and equal society.

In the early days of our Nation’s fight for independence, future First Lady Abigail Adams penned a letter to her husband, John Adams, urging him to “remember the ladies” as he fought to preserve the fledgling United States.  She advised him that “if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”  In the decades that followed, bold trailblazers like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Forten Purvis, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper carried forward and fought for the fundamental right of women to vote.  The road to suffrage was long and challenging, but the faith, fortitude, and resolute determination of those committed to this noble cause brought about a victory that continues to inspire today.

As with Jack Johnson, many presidents have had the opportunity to symbolically right a wrong, to amend the nation’s record. President Trump has overcome the bureaucratic, institutional resistance, the tyranny of “we’ve never done that,” and “we always have done it that way.”

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Pardon of Susan B. Anthony
LAW & JUSTICE | Issued on: August 18, 2020

Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) posthumously to Susan B. Anthony, a peerless advocate for women’s suffrage, for a wrongful and unjust conviction stemming from the only vote she ever cast in an election. As we commemorate the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment—known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment—this grant of full clemency recognizes and pays tribute to the advocacy, perseverance, and leadership of a truly remarkable woman and an American hero.

On November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony, after having been permitted to register to vote, entered a polling location in Rochester, New York, and cast a straight ticket Republican ballot. Two months later, a grand jury in Albany, New York, returned an indictment against her for having voted illegally. At the onset of her trial in June 1873, and in clear violation of her rights to trial by jury and due process, she was convicted by way of a directed verdict issued by the presiding judge—Supreme Court Justice Ward Hunt. During the trial, Justice Hunt stated that “the voting by Miss Anthony was in violation of the law.” After not being permitted to testify on her own behalf, she was finally given the opportunity to speak on the last day of trial. In the most famous speech in the women’s suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony aggressively defended a citizen’s right to vote and compared the denial of such a right to the denial of “sacred rights to life, liberty, property.” Justice Hunt then directed the jury to return a guilty verdict and imposed a $100 fine on Susan B. Anthony as her sentence. Although the suffragette steadfastly refused to pay the unjust fine, Justice Hunt did not have her imprisoned, preventing her from appealing her sentence to a higher court.

Susan B. Anthony is an American icon who has inspired millions of women across the Nation through her advocacy and accomplishments, and the generations of Americans who have devoted themselves to the work of perfecting our union are forever indebted to her example and legacy. The decision to posthumously pardon Susan B. Anthony removes a conviction for exercising a fundamental American right and one that we as citizens will lawfully employ this November.

In light of these facts and in recognition of her historic work to improve the justice of our Constitution, the President has concluded that Susan B. Anthony is worthy of this posthumous pardon.

As we commemorate this historic event, we also celebrate the incredible economic, political, and social contributions women have made to our Nation.  As President, I am committed to building on these accomplishments and empowering all women and girls to achieve their fullest potential.  As part of this effort, in February of last year, my Administration launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, the first whole-of-government effort to advance women’s economic empowerment around the globe.  My Administration also released our Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security in June of last year to increase the political participation of women at home and abroad, recognizing that women’s participation in conflict resolution and ending violent extremism can set the course toward a more peaceful world.  We are also prioritizing the safety and well-being of women and girls through our commitment to combatting sex trafficking and empowering survivors, who are disproportionately women, and through Operation Lady Justice, the Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

My Administration also understands that empowering women means implementing an economic agenda that enhances freedom and creates opportunities for women and working families.  As part of this effort, the historic 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the Child Tax Credit, and I signed legislation that provided for the largest ever increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which will help ease the burden of child care borne disproportionately by mothers.  Additionally, in December of last year, I signed legislation providing for 12 weeks of paid parental leave for Federal employees.  As I have since my first day in office, I continue to call on the Congress to pass a nationwide paid family leave program.

My Administration’s unprecedented investment in working families is already paying dividends.  Women’s unemployment in the United States reached the lowest level in 65 years.  And in 2019, women filled 71 percent of all new jobs in the United States.

Today, as we celebrate a major step forward for our Nation, we pay tribute to the countless women, known and unknown, throughout our history who struggled for equality.  In doing so, we recommit to ensuring our Constitution is faithfully upheld so that all Americans can pursue their dreams and fulfill their God-given potential.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 18, 2020, as a day in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
DONALD J. TRUMP

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  1. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Why do you keep distracting us with these solid, inspiring accomplishments of Trump?? Don’t you realize he’s a louse? Everybody says so! Now get back to the louse stuff!

    • #1
  2. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    (Seriously, thanks for this story. I have no idea how this man does what he does, when he has to stand what he stands. But it’s inspiring all on its own.)

    • #2
  3. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Hilarious the Dems, the party for feminism, great defenders of women, sealed their nomination of that lout Joe Biden on this centenniel. 

    And, that they were so lost in their divisive campaign, they didn’t pay homage. 

    Oh, I forgot, they want to destroy the very principles that give them the freedom to choose a$$-hattery over Liberty.

    Oh, I forgot, they don’t know much about history, either. 

    • #3
  4. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Oh, I forgot, they don’t know much about history, either. 

    As opposed to biology? Invent a sex, make it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck?

    • #4
  5. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    I have often made Dem heads explode over this, but not in the way you think. When Twitter feuds lead to the leftie saying I support a party that would take away my right to vote, or something along that line, I reply that I am fine with that or that I don’t support women’s suffrage. They go ballistic….don’t know how to handle it and want to know why I would willingly give up that right. I tell them that over half of women vote for Democrats so I would be better off if none of us could vote. They just have no answer to that. 😂

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Biden would not have done this. 

     

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Brilliant move by Trump!  I don’t know who came up with the idea, but my hat’s off to her . . .

    • #7
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Now I can use those Susan B. Anthony coins without feeling awkward.  Thanks Trump!

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Man, talk about soft on crime. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would never do something like that.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Also, SBA is very problematic. It figures Trump would pardon a racist:

    (I wish this were a parody, but no.)

    • #10
  11. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    And, cue the Washington Post and New York Times: Susan B. Anthony wasn’t all that great anyway. She didn’t do enough for black women’s voting rights, she was anti-abortion, and she’s only famous because she gave out lots of pictures of herself. Plus, she should be referred to as a suffragIST, not a suffragETTE. 

    • #11
  12. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Arahant (View Comment):
    pic.twitter.com/EiP0WUPvN7

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Also, SBA is very problematic. It figures Trump would pardon a racist:

    (I wish this were a parody, but no.)

    Selective history, much? The speaker talks about how Anthony lacked Progressive values at a time when progressive values were all about sterilizing blacks and otherwise reducing the black population. Stipulating that Anthony was inconsistent on race issues, and at times put her own cause ahead of the black cause, how is she any different than today’s Progressive political figures, sowing riots, murder, arson, looting, beatings, and intimidation against residents, business owners, and employees of all colors in the name of the Communist Insurrection? And here she is flying the same Progressive flag that Mayor Durkan of Seattle flies when she serves the Insurrection complimentary box lunches. 

    What a self-righteous tool.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    What a self-righteous tool.

    The universities are self-righteous tool manufacturing plants.

    • #13
  14. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    What a self-righteous tool.

    The universities are self-righteous tool fool manufacturing plants.

    FIFY.

    • #14
  15. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    What a self-righteous tool.

    The universities are self-righteous tool fool manufacturing plants.

    FIFY.

    We had it right the first time.

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    We had it right the first time.

    It works both ways. They’re fools and tools.

    • #16
  17. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    On the other hand, I agree with also studying the careers of people like Sojourner Truth. But I do wonder how many black lives she has ended through having or supporting abortion.

    Clarification: That last was aimed at the tool, who chastises Anthony for being pro-life, not at Anthony or Truth.

    • #17
  18. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    OldPhil (View Comment):
    she was anti-abortion,

    for which she needs no pardon. 

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    What a self-righteous tool.

    The universities are self-righteous tool manufacturing plants.

    Their students might as well learn to do that. They are certainly not learning much else.

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):
    Their students might as well learn to do that. They are certainly not learning much else.

    No, that’s what the professors are turning the students into.

    • #20
  21. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    That’s impressive how, by doing something good for Susan B. Anthony, Trump has managed to move feminist leftistS to now being AGAINST her and her work for voting rights for women. The man is a genius manipulator! Sigh… such a bunch of reactionary idiots, these people. 🙄

    • #21
  22. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    That’s impressive how, by doing something good for Susan B. Anthony, Trump has managed to move feminist leftistS to now being AGAINST her and her work for voting rights for women. The man is a genius manipulator! Sigh… such a bunch reactionary idiots, these people. 🙄

    • #22
  23. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    If Trump would just do honor to Karl Marx, half of Congress would spontaneously combust.

    • #23
  24. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    And, cue the Washington Post and New York Times: Susan B. Anthony wasn’t all that great anyway. She didn’t do enough for black women’s voting rights, she was anti-abortion, and she’s only famous because she gave out lots of pictures of herself. Plus, she should be referred to as a suffragIST, not a suffragETTE.

    Mind you, leftist feminists have been claiming for many years that pro-life groups misappropriate Susan B. Anthony and that she was not really against abortion. I found this as I was looking up background for the post.

    • #24
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    (Seriously, thanks for this story. I have no idea how this man does what he does, when he has to stand what he stands. But it’s inspiring all on its own.)

    You are welcome, and it is a wonderment.

    • #25
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    But wait! There’s more! Also on the centennial of the 19th Amendment, President Trump tweeted his support for a strong black woman, Kimberly Klacik, who is running as a Republican for the Baltimore seat held for many years by the late Congressman Elijah Cummings.

    Her three minute introductory ad crushed Michelle Obama in digital media views.

    As noted by The Daily Wire on Monday, Republican strategist and congressional GOP candidate Kimberly Klacik released a hard-hitting ad slamming Democrats for their apparent fake concern for black lives, highlighting the devastation in Democrat-run cities, particularly Baltimore. The ad went viral online, racking up millions of views within hours and earning astounding social media engagement, such as shares, likes, and comments.

    The ad was so hot, in fact, it seemed to have eclipsed former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech given on the same day, at least digitally, said The Post Millenial’s Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Ballingall.

    “By digital metrics, Michelle Obama bombed at the DNC last night. The former first lady was completely outdone by an unknown house candidate, [Kimberly Klacik],” he said in a Twitter thread posted Tuesday. 

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Stipulating that Anthony was inconsistent on race issues, and at times put her own cause ahead of the black cause

    I may be wrong, but wasn’t she fighting for the right of all women to vote?

    • #27
  28. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Stad (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Stipulating that Anthony was inconsistent on race issues, and at times put her own cause ahead of the black cause

    I may be wrong, but wasn’t she fighting for the right of all women to vote?

    The allegation is made in the video that Anthony traded dropping support for black rights in exchange for support of women’s rights. Stipulating means I assume the truth of the proposition without accepting or testifying to the truth of the proposition for the sake of argument. It is plain from her work that Anthony’s first preference would have been universal adult suffrage.

    • #28
  29. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    President Trump tweeted his support for a strong black woman, Kimberly Klacik, who is running as a Republican for the Baltimore seat held for many years by the late Congressman Elijah Cummings.

    That was one impressive ad. I kicked in. 

    • #29
  30. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    EHerring (View Comment):

    I have often made Dem heads explode over this, but not in the way you think. When Twitter feuds lead to the leftie saying I support a party that would take away my right to vote, or something along that line, I reply that I am fine with that or that I don’t support women’s suffrage. They go ballistic….don’t know how to handle it and want to know why I would willingly give up that right. I tell them that over half of women vote for Democrats so I would be better off if none of us could vote. They just have no answer to that. 😂

    As a woman who has very mixed feelings about the 19th Amendment, I love this!

    • #30