Leser V. Garnett Case Analysis

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Through years of gender inequality throughout the nation, one of the most important causes for women was when they received the right to vote, as it allowed them to have a voice within the country. While looking throughout the fight for Women’s Suffrage, many would say that it ultimately ended on August 26, 1920- when the 19th Amendment was officially ratified. Although this seems accurate, many others would say that the fight ended when the Supreme Court 's ruling ultimately established the Nineteenth Amendment. This is best shown by the ratification of the 19th amendment, Leser v. Garnett, and the overall process to reach the final ruling during the case.
In order to properly understand the importance of Leser v. Garnett (1922) 42 Sup. Ct.
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Garnett, each justice was well rehearsed in politics and an ability to interpret the Constitution in various situations. The Chief Justice, appointed in 1921, post-presidency, by the Republican political party, was William H. Taft. The appointed justices during this case include: Joseph R. McKenna (appointed in 1898 by the Democratic party), Oliver Wendell Holmes (appointed in 1903 by the Republican party), William R. Day (appointed in 1903 by the Republican party), Willis Van Devanter (appointed in 1910 by the Republican party), Mahlon Pitney (appointed in 1912 by the Republican party), James C. McReynolds (appointed in 1914 by the Democratic party), Louis D. Brandeis (appointed in 1916 by the Democratic party), and George Sutherland (appointed in 1922 by the Republican party). During this case, it was extremely important for the justices to be able to interpret the Constitution, weigh it against State Constitutions, as well as compare contentions to past Supreme Court Cases. To begin looking at Leser v. Garnett, it is important to look at each contention individually, and the arguments against it (as, during each objection, the Supreme Court unanimously against it). As discussed in the Yale Law Journal, “The first contention, that “so great an addition to the electorate, if made without the state’s consent, destroys its autonomy as a political body” and thus deprives the state of equal representation in the Senate.” In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court voted against the objection, referencing the 15th amendment. While the 15th amendment was not “adopted in accordance with law,” it was accepted with reluctance, but no protesting. The Yale Law Journal notes, “The second contention, that the state Constitutions of Tennessee and Missouri contain provisions limiting the power of the legislature to ratify.” which, was again unanimously voted against in noting Article V of the United States Constitutions discussion of the function of the state
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