United States v. Susan B. Anthony

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On June 18, 1873, Susan B. Anthony was found guilty of Unlawful Voting in the United States  presidential election of November 5, 1872. Casting her ballot was both an act of political defiance and an attempt to test whether the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment would be interpreted as expanding or protecting women’s rights.

Judge Ward Hunt sentenced her to pay a fine of $100 and the costs of prosecution. Anthony responded, “May it please your honor, I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. . . . ‘Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.’”

Anthony neither paid her fine nor lived to see the Nineteenth Amendment’s national enfranchisement of women in 1920. The Fourteenth Amendment was not successfully used to overturn a sex-biased law until Reed v. Reed (see page 112 of Women’s Rights on Trial), 98 years later.

Source: GALE