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Leser v. Garnett
Transcript of Leser v. Garnett
- Oscar Leser wanted to remove women from the voting registry in Maryland
- He believed that the state constitution only granted the suffrage of men.
- Leser questioned whether the nineteenth amendment was adopted by Maryland and believed it was unconstitutional.
- He sued the board of registry as he argued that there was no distinction between the 15th and 19th amendments.
-On April 26, 1920 women were given the right to vote under the newly ratified 19th Amendment. This Amendment states that the right to vote cannot be denied to anyway because of their sex and that congress has the right to enforce it.
- On October 12, 1920 Cecelia Street Waters and Mary D. Randolph attempt to register to vote in Baltimore, Maryland where the state constitution limited registration to only men
- Oscar Leser and other sued the state board of registry in order to prevent these women from registering
- Case is brought to the U.S. Supreme Court on January 23, 1922. This case was presided by William H. Taft.
Outcome (Majority Rule)
-The fifteenth amendment was a part of the federal constitution, Maryland could not just say that it was not applicable to them.
-There can be limitations placed on these laws if the people of the state wanted them to be altered or to have exceptions.
Leser v. Garnett
Case Summary (Leser)
- The Supreme Court declared that the 19th Amendment is a part of the constitution. So, women have the right to vote, and it is unconstitutional to disenfranchise them.
- Therefore, Oscar Leser lost the case, and women achieved the right to vote in Maryland.
-Oscar Leser held the dissenting opinion as women had never before had that much power as men, especially to vote.
-However, there was no dissenting opinions from the justices. Justice Brandeis delivered the UNANIMOUS opinion of the Court in favor of the two women from Maryland.
Case Summary (Garnett)
-Maryland rejected the amendment and therefore they should not be forced to abide by it.
1. How did this case define gender inequality?
2. What does the unanimous decision say about the justices?
3. Was this decision constitutional?
What does this political cartoon depict? Do you agree with the message? Why or why not?