This was the case with Susan B. Anthony. Always one to champion the cause for women’s equality, Anthony registered to vote on November 1, 1872 for the upcoming election. If you noticed the year, this was decades before the passing of the 19th Amendment (which officially granted women the right to vote). Several days later on November 5th, Anthony voted and even remarked about her feat in a letter to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. On November 18th, only two weeks after casting her ballot, Anthony was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshall for “illegally voting.”
Anthony capitalized on her upcoming trial and went on a local speaking tour where one of her main points was, “Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?” She believed that under the 14th Amendment, no state could bar the rights of natural-born citizens, which included to Anthony the right for women to vote. In June of 1873, Anthony was brought to trial. She was unable to testify herself, as the judge barred her on account that “she is not a competent as a witness on her own behalf.” Her lawyer, Judge Selden, argued for her case, citing the 14th Amendment and calling the arrest gender discrimination.