Thursday, June 11, 2009

On June 11

On this day in ...
... 1993, in Wisconsin v. Mitchell, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a state statute that enhanced the otherwise-maximum penalty for offenses held to be hate crimes. In an opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the Court held that adding on to the punishment at issue, aggravated battery, was not “aimed at conduct unprotected by the First Amendment”; rather, what was ““single[d] out for enhancement” was “bias inspired conduct because this conduct is thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm.”
... 1880, U.S. Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.) (right), a suffragist and peace activist who in 1916 became the 1st woman elected to Congress, was born in Missoula, Montana. (photo credit) In 1912, she began working as the field secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and was among the thousands of suffragists at the 1913 suffrage march in Washington, D.C. As a representative, she strongly opposed and voted against U.S. involvement in World War I. Having lost re-election in 1918, Rankin ran again in 1940, and won on an antiwar platform. She was the only representative to vote against U.S. entry into the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, saying,

'As a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.'
Although Rankin did not run running for re-election in 1942, she remained politically active for the rest of her life. She was the 1st vice-president of the American Civil Liberties Union, and in January 1968, when she was 87, she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, a 5,000-person strong march on Washington to protest the Vietnam War. She died in 1973.

(Prior June 11 posts are here and here.)

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