Donald Trump Says He’ll Posthumously Pardon Women’s Suffrage Icon Susan B. Anthony: ‘What Took So Long?’
Anthony was a prominent suffragist who was arrested in 1872 in Rochester, New York, and fined $100 for her illegal attempt to cast a ballot. She protested the fine and authorities dropped the matter.
“She was guilty for voting,” Trump said while making the announcement. “And we’re going to be signing a full and complete pardon.”
Some critics say Trump’s announcement was timed to distract from the Democratic National Convention or as a way to try to appeal to female voters in order to close the gender gap that his opponent Joe Biden currently benefits from.
“She was never pardoned. Did you know that? She was never pardoned,” Trump said. “What took so long?”
While Anthony has been lauded for her championship of women’s rights and anti-slavery efforts, she has also faced posthumous criticism for her stance on abortion and for marginalizing Black voices.
Trump announced that he would be making a pardon on Monday night but declined to reveal who the individual receiving clemency was, just noting that it would be “very, very important.”
The president has largely reserved the power to grant clemency for those who he knows or who he supports. He has granted clemency to his political adviser Roger Stone, along with controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Meanwhile, Trump has been facing intense criticism for what some see as his attempt to endanger the ability to vote for millions of Americans as he attacks mail-in voting, a charge that he has denied. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing in the United States, many are expected to want to avoid polling locations in favor of using the USPS.
The topic at the event turned to mail-in voting, which the president once again criticized, saying that dogs and cats, along with the deceased, could participate in the election if mail-in ballots became universal.
Trump then turned to Michelle Obama, who gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention during which she said Trump wasn’t able to meet the challenges that the country currently faces.
“She was over her head and frankly she should have made the speech live which she didn’t do,” Trump said. “I thought it was a very divisive speech, extremely divisive.”
The 19th Amendment, which was signed on August 18, 1920, says that 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.”