Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Minor v. Happersett?

i don't understand this case, can someone please explian it to me in simple english? On the internet it says- was a United States Supreme Court case appealed from the Supreme Court of Missouri concerning the Missouri law which ordained "Every male citizen of the United States shall be entitled to vote."

Virginia Minor, a leader of the women's suffrage movement in Missouri, alleged that the refusal of Reese Happersett, a Missouri state registrar, to allow her to register to vote was an infringement of her civil rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Wikipedia)

what does this mean what did Mr. Happersett do ? thanks

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here is what happened.

    The 14th amendment requires that no state deprive any citizen of rights and/or privileges of citizenship.

    According to the opinion in this court, the 14th amendment does not list in detail what those rights of citizenship are.

    The court first concludes that Minor (a women) is a citizen and is guaranteed the rights and privileges of a citizen under the United States Constitution (particularly the 14th amendment).

    So in this case, the court has to decide if suffrage (the right to vote) is a right and/or privilege of citizenship. If it is than Minor wins and the State of Missouri must allow her to vote. If not than she loses and does not have a Constitutional right to vote.

    The Court decides that suffrage is not a right or privilege of citizenship (Minor loses). In the opinion, they cite many precedents in which there are restrictions on citizens ability to vote. For instance age and residency. Children are considered citizens, however are not able to vote until they have reached a certain age. Also, many states at the time required you to be a resident of the state for a certain period of time before being granted suffrage.

    An example of this in todays society is convicted Felons. If you are convicted of a Felony you cannot be granted suffrage, even if you have served your time and you are a citizen of the United States.

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