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Minor v. Happersett

Significance, The "new Departure", A Constitutional Approach, All Or Nothing, The Fourteenth Amendment


Virginia Minor (with Francis Minor, her husband, as required by Missouri law, which did not permit married women to bring suit on their own)


Reese Happersett

Appellant's Claim

That Virginia Minor's constitutional rights were violated by Happersett's refusal to register her to vote in the election of 1872.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

Francis Minor, John M. Rum, John B. Henderson

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

No opposing counsel

Justices for the Court

Joseph P. Bradley, Nathan Clifford, David Davis, Stephen Johnson Field, Ward Hunt, Samuel Freeman Miller, William Strong, Noah Haynes Swayne, Morrison Remick Waite (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 March 1875


The Fourteenth Amendment did not guarantee Virginia Minor's right to vote, although she was found to be a citizen of the United States.

Related Cases

  • Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. 293 (1857).
  • Slaughterhouse Cases, 16 U.S. 36 (1873).
  • U.S. v. Susan B. Anthony 24 F.Cas. 829 (1873).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882