Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: August 18, 1920

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

8/18/1920: The Nineteenth Amendment is ratified


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  1. Aka one of the worst mistakes in history…

    1. OK, I’ll play.

      Aka one of the worst mistakes in history…because?

      1. Ah, I see. You’re playing the role of the naive innocent baptist. No doubt captcrisis will be along any minute to fill the rile of the bootlegger.

        1. I’ve made the mistake before, but 19th is women’s sufferage.

          18th is prohibition.

          1. You and your fancy “numbers” and “mathematics,” and your elite “words” and “standard English . . .”

            1. Easy mistake, especially if you assume AmosArch has normal views of society.

          2. Right you are. I woke up (again) thinking that date had been wrong. It ought to teach me to not post when smoke and heat wake me up early, but I haven;t learned yet, probably never will.

            Apologies to apedad and captcrisis.

            1. I’d be interested in how low the polling is for neo-prohibition these days.
              I’m guessing it’s in the low teens.

      2. When the country was founded, it was a *family* vote, cast by the husband, with the wife’s full knowledge of what it was. She was either sitting next to him in town meeting, or other women who were would tell her.

        Now issues that men cared about, such as the minister’s firewood allotment — which they had to cut, split, and deliver — they’d vote on. But everything else was “yes dear, yes dear, whatever dear….

        So women had the vote….

        1. Thanks DE2.

          I’m sure we can all agree how NONE of that applies in the Year of our Lord 6020.

        2. “When the country was founded, it was a *family* vote, cast by the husband, with the wife’s full knowledge of what it was. ”

          Why would you ever assume this? And what about unmarried or separated women?

          And if that was such a great system, they should have disenfranchised males instead of females. After all, it’s the “family” vote. And yet nobody proposed that. Wonder why.

          1. they should have disenfranchised males instead of females.

            They did. There were property requirements for voting, and often surtaxes on unmarried men.

            1. ‘Instead’ is the key word in that sentence.

              I mean, your scenario is also ahisorical about women and politics. Didn’t you learn about separate spheres in school?

              Did you ever see those anti-suffragette posters? Speaking of zero-sum thinking about demographics!

    2. It was pretty much inevitable, regardless.

    1. Didn’t she commit voter fraud?

  2. So far we have 2 posters coming out against women voting and one not taking a stand.

    1. Is that because the Volokh Conspiracy is a heavily white, CIS, male dominated club and we’re not hearing enough women voices?

      Or is it because some of the (heavy?), white, CIS, males are ignorant?

      Holy crap – I’m starting to sound like Rev. Kirkland.

      1. Some of it is the demographics, but there’s something ideological as well.
        *Conservatives are often kinda retrograde – sometimes very much so.
        *Libertarians and MRA have a lot of overlap. Something about contrarianism?
        *Women vote liberal. The right has been pitching contractions of the franchise for the past 20 years.

    2. Well, there are much more interesting threads going on, and comments by users vary quite a bit. Don’t take it as some some sort of data point for anything, though it’s to late for that.

      1. I recall you having at least anti-19th curious conversations with RestoreWesternHegemony, but I’m glad if you’ve mended your ways.

        1. You don’t sit on the throne of Moses my friend.

          The 19th Amendment was, absent an asteroid strike or some other reset, an inevitable consequence of the rhetoric of rights and increasing material abundance that allowed for it. That’s not saying it was a good or bad idea.

          1. I hesitate to pontificate on the inevitability.

            But I am quite happy to take the brave stance that the 19th was a good thing to do.

            1. For most of human history, families were just trying to survive. Material abundance gave women the opportunity to ask for more, just like other groups before them. That 1st wave feminists latched onto the rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence, like other groups before them successfully had, was so predictable a call to make that it was essentially inevitable once material abundance allowed for it.

              Would you be as brave if you could travel back in time? I hesitate to pontificate.

              1. Historical counterfactuals don’t interest me, so I again have little to say about that.

                Similarly, I cannot separate my nature from my nurture, so I also have no idea what stances I’d take if I lived in a different time. All I can control is the stances I take here and now.

                1. Is reason the chariot driver with you or not? Still, I cannot help but respect that humility. Most leftists would say that if they were plopped down in another time, let alone raised in it, that they’d have the same opinions they do today, which is utter lunacy.

                  Historical counterfactual? Huh. That’s not exactly accurate as a description of my rather limited use of qualitative methodology of a historical comparison combined with restating a common hypothesis about the timing of rights expansions and revolutions. A hypothesis test many times btw, and I believe not falsified.

                  Lastly, your positivist attitudes are, dare I say, flexible, depending on the topic at hand. Lets talk about disparate impact or implicit bias if you’re going to be such a positivist.

                  1. Sure; I’m no historian, but history already comes to us occluded through narrative, I’m leery about the utility of coulda questions.
                    We certainly can’t a priori predict when there will be a revolution or an expansion of rights.

                    I can control the policies I advocate for, including addressing disparate impact. Generally you want to avoid addressing it directly, but rather identify the reasons for the bias and address them. E.g. addressing a lack of women applying to grants via a proposers guide for the program that makes it easier to lower barriers to applying both perceived and actual.

                    I’m skeptical of implicit bias studies; there is something there, but I don’t think we’re there yet. As you may recall, I don’t really like implicit bias training.

                    1. No, we can’t predict per se, but people who study these things cross culturally make reasonable scientific conclusions. I suggest you read one of the seminal works on the subject; The Rights Revolution by Charles Epp (or a review of it). In short, only when there is financial support for rights groups do they make social change through the courts in his case study of 4 countries.

                      No, I don’t recall that you don’t like implicit bias training. That’s something. Thanks.

    3. I mean, I would rather have an intelligent back and forth with someone than needlessly shout at idiots.

      Taking the position that women shouldn’t vote is something most people, including me, wouldn’t engage with for the simple reason that that position is so obviously stupid and I would just be feeding trolls.

      1. You are a better person than I.

        I like intellectual discourse, but I also do like shooting fish in a barrel more than is probably ideal.

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