The 19th Amendment is 100 years old today (Right of Women to Vote)

Women have come a long way in 100 years. It is hard to believe that women suffrage is a mere 100 years old and that many of us have grandmothers who could not vote at some point in their lives.

It is hard from today’s perspective to understand why women were prohibited from voting until 1920. Humans invented the airplane before women received the basis right guaranteed by the the US Constitution. It was not until 1957 that women were guaranteed the right to serve on federal juries. And the last state to guarantee women the right to serve on state juries was 1975. In the 1879 case of Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303 (1879), the Supreme prohibited the exclusion of African Americans from a state jury, the Supreme Court said in dictum that a state could constitutionally limit jury membership to males. It was not until 1975 that the US Supreme Court in in Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975), ruled that women have a right to serve on juries pursuant to the US Constitution. Utah actually allowed women to be on juries in the 1895. It is interesting to note that Sir William Blackstone held that common law requires jurors to be free and trustworthy “human beings,” and that while the term “human beings” means man and women, the female is, however, excluded on account of the defect of sex.

It was not until 1964 that women were guaranteed the right to not be discriminated against in employment. The pregnancy discrimination act which made it illegal in employment to discriminate against a women based on pregnancy was not passed until 1978.

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