Bradwell v the state of illinois
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Bradwell v. The State of Illinois. Matthew Hale Carpenter Supreme Court Justices-Bradley and Miller. Basic Facts. Myra Bradwell was born in 1831 in Vermont Married James Bradwell who was a law student in Illinois Apprenticed as a lawyer in her husband’s office Established Chicago Legal News

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Bradwell v. The State of Illinois

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Bradwell v. The State of Illinois

Matthew Hale Carpenter

Supreme Court Justices-Bradley and Miller


Basic Facts

  • Myra Bradwell was born in 1831 in Vermont

  • Married James Bradwell who was a law student in Illinois

  • Apprenticed as a lawyer in her husband’s office

  • Established Chicago Legal News

  • Passed Illinois bar exam and applied for the Illinois Supreme Court bar-she was denied because of her gender


Main Points

  • Women were not recognized as a natural person

    • “The court ruled 8 to 1 that no one has a right to pursue a specific career and that ‘person’ was never intended to include women.”

    • “Justice Bradley offered a concurrence which dismissed the notion of equality between men and women as silly and even dangerous.”


Main Points cont’d

  • Women, by nature, are unfit to be defenders.

    • “The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life.”

    • “Man is, or should be, woman’s protector and defender.”

    • “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.”


Historical Significance

  • Bradwell broke many barriers for women and their rights to achieve success

  • This event was one of many that began the women’s rights movement and the 19th Amendment


Should women have the right to practice law?


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