Come On, Tennessee!
Percival Clement, governor of Vermont, refuses to call a special
session of the Legislature to consider the woman suffrage amendment.
The governor of Connecticut is equally obstinate.
Louisiana and Delaware have locked the door against the women.
Carolina does not answer the door-bell. Suffragists now
turn to Tennessee to break the deadlock and complete ratification.
If Tennessee fails, it probably means that the amendment cannot
be ratified in time for all women to vote for president.
Indications are that Tennessee will not fail. Governor Roberts
has promised to comply with President Wilson's request for a
special suffrage session of the Legislature. Candidate Cox assures
the National Woman's party that he will do all in his power to bring
about ratification by Tennessee.
The state constitution of Tennessee says that an election must
intervene between congressional approval of an amendment and
action by the state Legislature. This is to let voters
pass on the amendment at the polls. But this obstruction apparently
was swept aside by the recent ruling of the United States
Supreme Court in the Ohio prohibition case, that state
laws are invalid when they conflict with the amendment machinery
provided by the national constitution.
Suffragists have polled the 132 members of the Tennessee
Legislature and have lined up 45 pledged votes for suffrage.
Only 22 more votes are needed to win the long fight. Whether,
millions of women will vote for president this year now rests in
the hands of 22 men. For those 22 to block suffrage would be rank
political folly. It would be ridiculous defiance of a great national
sentiment that has swept the country.
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