Amendment XIX – Women’s Right to Vote (1920)

The Nineteenth Amendment reads as follows: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The Nineteenth Amendment gave women citizens of U.S. the right to vote.  The amendment was ratified in 1920 after a 70 year long struggle by the Women Suffrage movement. 

The movement to get voting rights for women was initiated in 1867.  Both men and women worked toward that right.  The promoters of the movement thought it better to get the Amendment approved on a state by state basis instead of presenting it directly to the U.S. Congress.  They feared that an all male Senate would hesitate to approve the Amendment.  Although the first effort in Kansas failed, states like Utah and Wyoming passed the Amendment the same year.  When two-third of the states passed the Amendment, it was presented before the Senate.  The Senate passed the Amendment in 1919.  Tennessee was the last necessary state to ratify the Amendment in 1920 and it was added to the Constitution.

In 1922, the Supreme Court held that the Amendment was validly adopted into the U.S. Constitution.[i]  Some voters from Maryland filed a suit requiring the names of female voters removed from the registry on the ground that the Nineteenth Amendment was not validly adopted.  The Supreme Court rejected the argument.

[i] Leser v. Garnett, 258 U.S. 130 (U.S. 1922)


Inside Amendment XIX – Women’s Right to Vote (1920)