'Objection!': Susan B. Anthony museum rejects President Trump's pardon of the suffragette leader

WASHINGTON – The museum dedicated to Susan B. Anthony objected to President Donald Trump’s pardon of the suffragette leader, saying the pardon “validated the proceedings” that led to her conviction.

Anthony, one of the leading figures in the movement to secure voting rights for women, was arrested for voting as a woman in Rochester, New York, in 1872, violating the laws that said only men could vote. She was convicted the following year by an all-male jury.

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"She was never pardoned," Trump said during a ceremony at the White House Tuesday. "She got a pardon for a lot of other women. And she didn't put her name on the list."

In response, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House tweeted "Objection! Mr. President," explaining Anthony wouldn't want a pardon because she believed she didn't do anything wrong. The museum said Anthony “was outraged to be denied a trial by jury. She proclaimed, ‘I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.'"

“To pay would have been to validate the proceedings," the museum continued. "To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same.”

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The statement, from president and CEO of the museum Deborah L. Hughes, added, “If one wants to honor Susan B. Anthony today, a clear stance against any form of voter suppression would be welcome” as well as advocating for human rights for all.

Hughes pointed to Anthony's support for "sex education, fair labor practices, excellent public education, equal pay for equal work, and elimination of all forms of discrimination."

Some critics called Trump's pardon an empty gesture.

"Pathetic," Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., wrote Tuesday. "Trump pardons a woman who has been dead for over 100 years to show his commitment to women. Suburban women aren't dumb. We are all insulted."

Others pointed to Trump's attacks on mail-in voting. Top Democrats have alleged the Trump administration is "kneecapping" the Postal Service to hamper mail-in and absentee voting, which surged this spring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House was her home for four decades, the site of her arrest, and the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association when she was the organization's president.

Many of the women who started the fight to win the right to vote, including Anthony, did not live to see the amendment passed or cast their own ballots in the 1920 election.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Susan B. Anthony Museum rejects President Trump's pardon