Paula Monopoli (University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law) has a new article out entitled, “Gender, Voting Rights, and the Nineteenth Amendment.” The article is forthcoming in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy. The abstract is below:
One hundred years after the woman suffrage amendment became part of the United States Constitution, a federal court has held—for the first time—that a plaintiff must establish intentional discrimination to prevail on a direct constitutional claim under the Nineteenth Amendment. In adopting that threshold standard, the court simply reasoned by strict textual analogy to the Fifteenth Amendment and asserted that ‘there is no reason to read the Nineteenth Amendment differently from the Fifteenth Amendment’. This paper’s thesis is that, to the contrary, the Nineteenth Amendment is deserving of judicial analysis independent of the Fifteenth Amendment because it has a distinct constitutional history and meaning. The unique historical context preceding and following the Nineteenth’s ratification militates for courts to adopt a holistic interpretative approach when considering a Nineteenth Amendment claim. Such an approach has both expressive and doctrinal implications, providing support for courts to adopt disparate impact, rather than intentional discrimination or discriminatory purpose, as a threshold standard for such claims. Reasoning beyond the text—from legislative intent, purposes, structure, and institutional relationships—could restore the lost constitutional history around the Nineteenth Amendment, making it a more potent tool to address gendered voter suppression today, especially for women of color. This paper provides a framework for judges willing to move away from rigid textual analogy toward a more holistic constitutional interpretation when evaluating a constitutional claim under the amendment.
Can’t wait to read this one! Important and timely.
A new article by Karen Hao in the Technology Review explores “how Facebook and Google fund global misinformation.” It argues that “the tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages,” thereby “bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.”
From the Article:
“In 2015, six of the 10 websites in Myanmar getting the most engagement on Facebook were from legitimate media, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-run tool. A year later, Facebook (which recently rebranded to Meta) offered global access to Instant Articles, a program publishers could use to monetize their content.
One year after that rollout, legitimate publishers accounted for only two of the top 10 publishers on Facebook in Myanmar. By 2018, they accounted for zero. All the engagement had instead gone to fake news and clickbait websites. . . .
It was during this rapid degradation of Myanmar’s digital environment that a militant group of Rohingya—a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority—attacked and killed a dozen members of the security forces, in August of 2017.
Looking forward to this, from the Georgetown Center for the Constitution:
To register, please click the “register” button on the top right of the page or fill out the following form.
Hosted by the Georgetown Center for the Constitution and cosponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Together with the Supreme Court Historical Society, the Center sponsors the annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture and Faculty Colloquium to commemorate important anniversaries and neglected figures in our constitutional history. On Thursday evening April 22nd, 2021, Professor Martha Jones of Johns Hopkins University will be delivering the Seventh Annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment. The event will be held virtually. Our previous Chase lecturers have included James Oakes, Eric Foner, Colleen Sheehan, William Ewald, Charles McCurdy, and Sandy Levinson.
You can watch here, with a great lineup:
August 18th marks the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Join us for a conversation as we reflect on this landmark legislation and how the struggle for voting rights and protections still resonates in 2020. This discussion is hosted by UCLA Law Dean Jennifer Mnookin and features: Ellen DuBois – Professor Emeritus, UCLA History Department
Kathay Feng – National Redistricting Director, Common Cause
Celinda Lake – President, Lake Research Partners
Celinda Vázquez – Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
Sonni Waknin – Managing Legal Fellow, UCLA Voting Rights Project
Important supplement in the New York Times.
You can download it at this link. When the full symposium issue on the 19th Amendment posts, I’ll provide a link to that as well.
Elizabeth Katz has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Akron Law Review). Here is the abstract:
In recognition of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, this essay provides an introduction to a largely overlooked yet essential component of the women’s movement: the pursuit of women’s legal right to hold public office. From the mid-nineteenth century through ratification of the federal suffrage amendment in 1920, women demanded access to appointed and elected positions, ranging from notary public to mayor. Because the legal right to hold office had literal and symbolic connections to the right to vote, suffragists and antisuffragists were deeply invested in the outcome. Courts and legislatures varied in their responses, with those in the Midwest and West generally more willing than those in the Northeast and South to construe or create law permitting women to hold office. This account centers on the experiences of Nellie G. Robinson, a pioneering woman lawyer whose efforts to secure public office in Ohio received nationwide attention in the years surrounding the turn of the twentieth century. To contextualize Robinson’s successes and failures, the essay expands to consider the parallel efforts of other women lawyers from the period, as well as the broader history of women’s officeholding in Ohio—a state with laws and politics reflecting the major trends and tensions in the national women’s officeholding movement.
This essay was written for a symposium issue of the Akron Law Review, organized with the Center for Constitutional Law. The topic for the conference and symposium was “The 19th Amendment at 100: From the Vote to Gender Equality.”
You can find a revised version of this paper by Leah Litman and me, part of a Georgetown Law Journal symposium on the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, at this link. Here is the abstract:
This Article, prepared for a Georgetown Law Journal symposium on the Nineteenth Amendment’s 100-year anniversary, explores and defends a “thick” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment right to vote and Congress’s power to enforce it. A “thin” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that the amendment merely prohibits states from enacting laws that prohibit women from voting, once the state decides to hold an election. And a “thin” conception of Congress’s power to enforce the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that Congress may only supply remedies for official acts that violate the Amendment’s substantive guarantees.
This piece argues the Nineteenth Amendment does more. A thick understanding of the Nineteenth Amendment’s substantive right is consistent with the Amendment’s text and history, as well as with a synthetic interpretation of the Constitution and its expanding guarantees of voting rights. The thick understanding of the Nineteenth Amendment would allow voting rights plaintiffs to attack restrictive voting laws burdening women, especially when those laws burden young women of color, who are guaranteed nondiscrimination in voting on the basis of age and race as well. And a thick understanding of Congress’s power to enforce the Nineteenth Amendment offers a way to redeem the Amendment from some of its racist origins and entanglement with the sexism that limited the Amendment’s reach, and to reinforce the democratic legitimacy of the Constitution. The thick understanding of Congress’s enforcement power would give Congress the ability to pass laws protecting women from voter discrimination and promoting their political equality. Nonetheless, the current Court is unlikely to embrace a thick understanding of the Nineteenth Amendment.
WaPo op-ed by Andrew Joseph Pegoda: “The centennial of the 19th Amendment has arrived, and people are preparing to celebrate this milestone granting women the right to vote. But we should also reflect on how our entire conception of women’s rights in America, centered around such seminal moments, is deeply skewed.”