Bushrod Washington and Women’s Suffrage

One tidbit I came across recently is that advocates of women’s suffrage cited Justice Washington’s opinion in Corfield v. Coryell as a leading authority. Corfield listed the right to vote (as regulated by state law) as one of the privileges of citizens, and everyone agreed that women were citizens. When a female suffrage petition was presented to the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by John Bingham, supporters called Bushrod “the favorite nephew” of George Washington and “the Washington who got all of the brains of the family outside of its great chief.” This argument did not work, as Bingham wrote the report rejecting the petition as inconsistent with Section Two of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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2 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    I’m something mixed as to the actual reach of Section Two but wonder how things would be w/o it on this issue.

  2. Joe says:

    BTW, there were years back — you can find them on Youtube — educational videos that portrayed the Marshall Court deciding various opinions. They were pretty good. If you want to see Bushrod Washington portrayed on camera.