Landmark Supreme Court cases involving women's rights Muller v. Oregon (1908). In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld an Oregon state law limiting women to working... Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923). In a 5-3 decision, the Court struck down a federal law establishing a minimum ...
This exhibition looks at part of the history of women attorneys in the United States, beginning with Myra Bradwell and Belva Lockwood, and continuing with the women serving today as Supreme Court Justices.
Women have made less headway on the other side of the bench. In the term that ended in June, just 18 percent of arguments were presented by women, according to data compiled by Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson of Bloomberg Law.
Another case that hinged on gender discrimination and government benefits was Frontiero v. Richardson. The 1973 case was the first Ginsburg argued before the Supreme Court.
Belva LockwoodIn 1879, she successfully petitioned Congress to be allowed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, becoming the first woman attorney given this privilege....Belva Ann Lockwood.Belva LockwoodPolitical partyNational Equal RightsSpouse(s)Uriah McNall ( m. 1848–1853) Ezekiel Lockwood ( m. 1868–1877)4 more rows
She became the first female Jewish Supreme Court justice Then in 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court. She became the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor), the first Jewish justice since 1969, and the first female Jewish justice ever.
Ginsburg spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women's rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsel in the 1970s.
Curiously enough, in the same year Ada H. Kepley became the first woman in the United States to graduate from law school. A year later, in 1870, Esther Morris was appointed as a justice of the peace in Wyoming Territory – the first woman in the United States appointed to a judicial position.
“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.” “When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous.” “If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself.”
Famous 5: The women judges in the US Supreme Court who made history before Ketanji Brown JacksonSandra Day O'Connor. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor held a seat on America's highest court for nearly 25 years. ... Ruth Bader Ginsburg. ... Sonia Sotomayor. ... Elena Kagan. ... Amy Coney Barrett.
She became the project's general counsel, as well as serving on the national board of the ACLU. At the time, she was writing the first textbook on sex discrimination law, Text, Cases, and Materials on Sex-Based Discrimination, published in 1974. 1980: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's first term as a D.C. Circuit judge.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life fighting for women to be treated equally. In doing so, she became an inspiring role model for women and girls around the world. Her passion for women's rights began when she was young. She started off her adult life having trouble finding a job.
She acknowledged the women who paved her way and throughout her lifetime fighting gender discrimination, paved the way for countless others. She was a trailblazer and teacher for all Americans of all genders and races just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
While women in Britain were campaigning for the right to vote, Cornelia Sorabji became the first woman to practise law in India. After she received a first class degree from Bombay University in 1888, British supporters helped to send her to Oxford University.
Belva LockwoodIn November 1880, Belva Lockwood became the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court when she appeared in Kaiser v. Stickney, 102 U.S. 176 (1880).
Sandra Day O'ConnorSandra Day O'Connor was the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice.
Stickney (1880) In November 1880, Belva Lockwood became the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court when she appeared in Kaiser v. Stickney, 102 U.S. 176 (1880). The case concerned a $16,000 debt owed by Lockwood’s client, Caroline Kaiser.
Albert G. Riddle, a Washington lawyer, moved Belva Lockwood for admission to the Supreme Court Bar in October 1876. The Court rejected Lockwood’s application. When Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite denied the motion, he announced that “none but men are admitted to practice before [the Court] as attorneys and counsellors . . .”
Later that year, she opened her own seminary school for women and became part of a community of progressive women activists who participated in the temperance and suffrage movements.
In 1871, 15 women, including Lockwood, enrolled at the National University Law School (now part of George Washington University) in Washington, D.C. The following year, Lockwood and another woman completed the program, after which law school administrators told them they would not receive diplomas.
Lockwood represented the Cherokee Nation, which sought full payment from the federal government under an 1835 treaty in which the tribe had ceded land in Georgia to the federal government for $1 million. The government had not paid in full.
A bill titled “An act to relieve certain legal disabilities of women” was debated several times in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in 1878 and 1879, and was eventually enacted. Popularly known as the “Lockwood Bill,” President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law. On March 3, 1879, Riddle again moved Lockwood’s admission to the Supreme Court Bar, and the Court admitted her.
Connecticut (1965) In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut state law banning the use of contraceptives. This landmark ruling established a right to privacy within a marriage, even though this was not explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled that as the ads were commercial speech, and especially as the discrimination itself was illegal, free speech rules did not apply to them or to their classification by the newspaper. Roe v. Wade (1973) In a 7-2 decision, the Court struck down a Texas law restricting abortion.
It held that it was legal to require doctors to provide women with information on the potential risks associate with abortions at least 24 hours before the procedure was performed, and to require a minor seeking an abortion to obtain either the consent of one of her parents or a judicial bypass. Under the Pennsylvania law, these requirements did not apply in cases of a "medical emergency." The plurality opinion, written by Sandra Day O'Connor, rejected the rigid trimester distinctions of Roe in which a state's interest in potential life could not be the basis for regulation until the third trimester. Instead, it held that regulations on abortion could not impose an "undue burden," which, in this case, applied only to spousal notification.
Connecticut was now established as extending to individuals, married or single, rather than existing only between partners in a marriage.
Children's Hospital (1923) In a 5-3 decision, the Court struck down a federal law establishing a minimum wage for women in Washington, D.C. While the Court continued to hold that states could regulate the amount of time worked by women, they held that this was different from regulating the wages they could make.
The Hyde Amendment allowed the funding of abortions in cases when the mother's life was in danger, and in cases of rape or incest. The Court held that a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy did not entitle her to receive government funding for that choice. International Union, UAW v.
Voting 5-4, the Court upheld a Pittsburgh ordinance making it illegal to indicate a gender requirement in most job postings. The Pittsburgh Press newspaper had "help wanted" listings in three columns: "Jobs?Male Interest," "Jobs?Female Interest," and "Male-Female." A lower court held that this violated Pittsburgh law, and the newspaper appealed on First Amendment grounds, claiming that this law violated the freedom of the press. The Supreme Court ruled that as the ads were commercial speech, and especially as the discrimination itself was illegal, free speech rules did not apply to them or to their classification by the newspaper.
Lockwood had been practicing law in the District of Columbia and qualified as the first female attorney to appear before the Court, in the 1880 case Kaiser v. Stickney. Lockwood spoke for about 20 minutes in court. Lockwood didn’t prevail in that case but won her second and final case at the Supreme Court in 1906. (She also ran for president twice on the National Equal Rights Party ticket.
In most cases, state courts also didn’t allow women as lawyers to argue cases at the state-court level. The Supreme Court in an 1872 opinion in Bradwell vs. Illinois confirmed the ability of Illinois to block women from its state bar. Myra Bradwell, a recent law school graduate, asked the Supreme Court to intervene, citing the 14th Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause.