Donald Trump thought he was doing the right thing, posthumously pardoning women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
Anthony was arrested in 1872 for voting in Rochester and then convicted in a high-profile trial. She refused to pay a fine, but authorities declined to take any further action against her.
Trump's pardon though does a disservice to Anthony, wrote Annalisa Merelli in Quartz
"To pardon Anthony is to forgive her of a crime that should never have been one, to imply that the state has moral standing over her—when it was Anthony’s actions, like many other disobediences before and since, that gave the state its own moral standing. "
Merelli understands the temptation to erase an unjust crime. "But Anthony's sentence, like John Lewis’s for each act of good trouble, or Martin Luther King Jr.’s for protesting in Selma, or Sojourner Truth’s for daring to be Black in Indiana, are a point of pride in their biographies, a testament to great ideals and greater courage.
"They are at once the mark of their heroism and an indelible reminder that the law can be unjust, that indeed it was, and challenging it was—and still is—a profoundly moral act of democracy," wrote Merelli.