Social Movement Changing America: The Legacies of the 19th Amendment

The American Bar Association Division for Public Education and the Law Library of Congress present the Law Day 2020 program, "Social Movement Changing America: The Legacies of the 19th Amendment."

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Presiding: Judy Perry Martinez, President, American Bar Association

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. The passage marked the largest expansion of democracy in the history of our country. This historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today.

Framing Question 1

How did the women’s suffrage movement and ratification of the 19th Amendment change America—constitutionally, legally, politically, socially, culturally, domestically?

Framing Question 2

How have American women fought for civil and political rights, including the vote, through the power of their voices and their actions?

Framing Question 3

How are matters of race and racism, class and subordination, all integral to the story of the 19th Amendment and its legacies?

Framing Question 4

How did the women’s suffrage movement inspire subsequent social movements for constitutional change? How might it continue to do so?

Framing Question 5

How does constitutional change happen? How has it? Will it ever again be accomplished through formal Article V amendment?

Framing Question 6

What did the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution accomplish? When did it do so? Have the goals and aspirations of its advocates been fully realized?

Framing Question 7

Why—and how—should we commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment? Why does it (still) matter?