1879 – U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.


On February 15, 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a new law that would admit women as members of the Supreme Court bar and allow them to submit and argue cases at the high court.

            Suffragette, teacher, lawyer and presidential candidate Belva Lockwood championed that cause with Congress after the Supreme Court ruled that women – and specifically Lockwood – could not practice law before it. In November 1876, Chief Justice Morrison Waite curtly replied to Lockwood’s request to be admitted to the Supreme Court bar. “By the uniform practice of the Court from its organization to the present time, and by the fair construction of its rules, none but men are permitted to practice before it as attorneys and counselors,” Waite said. The Chief Justice added the Court wouldn’t change its mind unless “required by statute.”

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 .

Justice Samuel Miller, citing the recent Slaughterhouse Cases, said the clause didn’t apply to the ability of a state to regulate its own conduct. “The right to control and regulate the granting of license to practice law in the courts of a state is one of those powers which are not transferred for its protection to the federal government,” Miller said.

Justice Joseph Bradley’s concurring opinion went much farther, stating that women weren’t fit to argue Supreme Court cases or even become lawyers. “Man is, or should be, woman’s protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life,” Story said. “The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator.”

Undaunted, Lockwood spent three years after her 1874 rejection lobbying Congress and former President Ulysses Grant (who had presented Lockwood with her law degree) for a law that would force the Supreme Court to recognize the right of women to appear before it. President Hayes signed “An act to relieve certain legal disabilities of women,” which read that “any woman who shall have been a member of the bar of the highest court of any State or Territory or of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia for the space of three years, and shall have maintained a good standing before such court, and who shall be a person of good moral character, shall, on motion, and the production of such record, be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.”

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 twice for President on the National Equal Rights Party ticket.
Lockwood wouldn’t be the last woman to argue at the Supreme Court. According to research compiled by the Supreme Court Historical Society and The Constitutional Sources Project, women had argued 1,430 cases at the Court as of December 2016. More than 700 women had presented cases at Supreme Court arguments since Lockwood appeared in 1880.

Scott Bomboy is the editor in chief of the National Constitution Center.

Filed Under: 14th Amendment, Article III, Section 1

Black History …. African Slave Tortures and Trade by country


African Slave Trade Ad

African Slave Trade Ad

Slave Tortures

 

 

Slave Tortures

Portugal Slave Trade

Portugal Slave Trade
1501-1866 Portugal transported 5,848,265 people from Africa to the Americas.

French Slave Trade

French Slave Trade
1501-1866 France transported 1,381,404 Africans to America.

Great Britain Slave Trade

Great Britain Slave Trade
1501-1866 The British transported 3,259,440 Africans to the Americas.

Spain Slave Trade

Spain Slave Trade
1501-1866 Spain transported 1,061,524 Africans to the Americas

Denmark Slave Trade

Denmark Slave Trade
1501-1866 Denmark transported 111,041 people from Africa.

United States Slave Trade

United States Slave Trade
1501-1866 The USA transported 305,326 Africans to the Americas.

Netherlands Slave Trade

Netherlands Slave Trade
1501-1866 The Netherlands transported 554,336 Africans.

How Many U.S. Presidents Owned Slaves? History …


Slavery and the Presidency

Slavery is a central paradox of much of American history. In fact, most of the country’s founding fathers owned slaves.

BY EVAN ANDREWS

The United States may have been founded on the idea that all men are created equal, but during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, slaveholding was common among the statesmen who served as president.

All told, at least 12 chief executives—over a quarter of all American presidents—were slave owners during their lifetimes. Of these, eight held slaves while in office.

Washington standing among African-American field workers harvesting grain. (Credit: Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Washington standing among African-American field workers harvesting grain. (Credit: Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

 

The “peculiar institution” loomed large over the first few decades of American presidential history. Not only did slave laborers help build the White House all of the earliest presidents (except for John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams) were slave owners. George Washington kept some 300 bondsmen at his Mount Vernon plantation. Thomas Jefferson—despite once calling slavery an “assemblage of horrors”—owned around 175 servants. James MadisonJames Monroe and Andrew Jackson each kept several dozen slaves, and Martin Van Buren owned one during his early career.

William Henry Harrison owned several inherited slaves before becoming president in 1841, while John Tyler and James K. Polk were both slaveholders during their stints in office. Zachary Taylor, who served from 1849-1850, was the last chief executive to keep slaves while living in the White House. He owned some 150 servants on plantations in Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Portrait of Isaac Jefferson, slave of Thomas Jefferson circa 1847. (Credit: Fotosearch/Getty Images).
Portrait of Isaac Jefferson, slave of Thomas Jefferson circa 1847. (Credit: Fotosearch/Getty Images).

Perhaps surprisingly, the last two presidents to own slaves were both men closely associated with Abraham Lincoln, who led the nation during a civil war caused in large part by the divisions sowed by slavery, and later signed the Emancipation Proclamation and championed passage of the 13th Amendment ending slavery. Andrew Johnson, who served as Lincoln’s vice president before becoming president in 1865, had owned at least half a dozen slaves in his native Tennessee and even lobbied for Lincoln to exclude the state from the Emancipation Proclamation.

The last president to personally own slaves was Ulysses S. Grant, who served two terms between 1869 and 1877.

The former commanding general of the Union Army had kept a lone black slave named William Jones in the years before the Civil War, but gave him his freedom in 1859.

Grant would later sum up his evolving views on slavery in 1878, when he was quoted as saying that it was “a stain to the Union” that people had once been “bought and sold like cattle.”

 

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