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America’s Unwritten Constitution by Akhil Reed Amar

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CHAPTER 7

“REMEMBERING THE LADIES”

America’s Feminist Constitution

In the heyday of American Progressivism, some reformers met the anti-suffrage argument that “women are too sentimental for jury duty” with a reminder that men, too, could act emotionally on juries. Note the premise underlying this prong of the suffrage debate: Woman suffrage would also entail woman jury service, even though neither the federal Woman Suffrage Amendment nor its typical state constitutional counterpart explicitly enumerated the jury-service right. At least some persons on both sides in the suffrage conversation thus understood the unenumerated links between voting and jury service. But did everyone in the 1910s understand these links? What other unenumerated entailments followed from the deep logic of woman suffrage?

WOMEN ARE TOO SENTIMENTAL FOR JURY DUTY” (1915).

In the heyday of American Progressivism, some reformers met the anti-suffrage argument that “women are too sentimental for jury duty” with a reminder that men, too, could act emotionally on juries. Note the premise underlying this prong of the suffrage debate: Woman suffrage would also entail woman jury service, even though neither the federal Woman Suffrage Amendment nor its typical state constitutional counterpart explicitly enumerated the jury-service right. At least some persons on both sides in the suffrage conversation thus ...

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