The 19th Amendments
The primarygoal of the women suffrage movement was to increase the rights of thewomen, especially the rights to vote. Before 1920, women lacked theright to vote, ownership of property among others. It is in starkcontrast to the modern day American woman who is guaranteed of equalrights (Fischer & Dahinden, 2016). In any country, the populationof women is larger than that of men. No wonder, in America, men wereworried that if women were to vote in large numbers, they wouldconsiderably sway the outcome of an election, probably even votingfor a female president (Persily, 2014). Sadly, that has not happenedyet. The paper will discuss the importance of the 19thconstitutional amendments.
Necessityof 19th Amendments
The adoption of19th amendments heralded a new chapter in promotion andprotection of the rights of the women. The provision of this lawprohibits any state from denying anyone the right to vote based onsex. The law reinforced the 15th Amendment, which gaveblack men the right to vote. The law was necessary because it ensuredparticipation of the women in the political affairs of the country.Furthermore, the provisions of the new law were in line with the 14thamendments concerning human rights (Fischer & Dahinden, 2016).The law also reduced the absoluteness of men in the political arena.Nonetheless, to date, not much has been reached concerning genderequality, a situation where the number of legislative seats held bywomen equals that of men. Notably, lawmakers are increasingly takinginitiatives to increase the representation of women in both senateand congress.
The law was alsonecessary for ending suppression of the women rights. Notably, as aworld leader, United States needed to set a precedent for the rest ofthe world. Importantly, the right to vote gave women the chance toelect people who would advance their interests in the Congress andthe Senate. Since its adoption, the number of women in the senate andcongress has increased. Consequently, women feel their issues arewell articulated and their interests covered. Furthermore, theamendments were necessary on the need to fight sexism (Persily,2014). The idea one gender is superior to the other. The amendmentsincreased the freedoms of the women to express their political viewswithout intimidation and fear.
Theparticipation of the women in the political arena has enabled thedrafting and adoption of laws concerning the reproductive health ofthe women. For example, abortion law gives a woman the right todecide what to do with their body. Importantly, it ensures women haveaccess to safe abortions. It would probably be impossible to passsuch laws without the inputs of the women legislators. Otherlegislations that have been passed regarding the health of the womeninclude the maternity and contraception Acts (Fischer & Dahinden,2016). Notably, these laws have allowed women to pursue theireducation and careers increasing their contribution to the countryeconomic development.
Protectionsunder 19th Amendments
The mainconstitutional guarantee provided in the amendments is the right of awoman to vote. Under the law, neither a state nor the federalgovernment can limit the right of a woman to cast a ballot and electleaders of their choice. Another fundamental guarantee is freedom toparticipate in the political process, without feeling intimidated orthreatened. In the past, violence has been used against women seekingfor political posts. The 19th amendments alongside otherelection laws ensure that such violations are investigated and theperpetrators face justice. The amendments ensure that women votingrights are universal and not under the whims of any state or federalgovernment (Fischer & Dahinden, 2016). It is important also tonote, before the adoption of this amendment, women voting rightsdiffered with states. However, the changes ensure universality.Therefore, the protection of the right to vote is spread across thestates.
The law grantsthe Congress powers to develop legislations, as they may deemnecessary to facilitate implementation of the 19thamendments. The guarantee is very crucial because it allowslegislators to identify loopholes in the law. Consequently,legislations can be drafted to seal the gaps. Therefore, theamendment guarantees freedoms of the women now and forever.
Since itsadoption, the 19th amendments have faced a singlelitigation. The landmark ruling made by the Supreme Court in Leser v.Garnett sealed the fate of the amendments. Leser challenged theconstitutionality of the bill on three claims. The first argument wasabout the power to amend the constitution. Lesser argued that theCongress power did not extend to these type of constitutionalchanges. Secondly, he claimed some states that ratified theamendments had laws that barred women from voting. Lastly, Lesserargued that legislation procedures were ignored in Tennessee and WestVirginia. It should be noted that what prompted the suit was theaddition of two women in the voter`s list in Maryland. The bench wasunanimous in its decision. It ruled the Congress was within its powerto amend the constitution. In the case of ratification, a precedenton 15th amendment invalidated the claim (Persily, 2014).The case was dismissed.
In conclusion,women in the United States struggled to gain the equality enjoyed bythe current generations. The rewards for women came in the form ofadoption of the 19th amendments. The changes gave womenthe voting rights across all the states. Over the years, theparticipation of women in politics has improved thanks to this law.
Persily, N. (2014). The Meaning of Equal Protection: Then, Now,and Tomorrow. GPSolo, 31, 13.
Fischer, C., & Dahinden, J. (2016). Gender representations inpolitics of belonging: An analysis of Swiss immigration regulationfrom the 19th century until today. Ethnicities,1468796816676844.
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