On June 14, 1873, Myra Bradwell reprinted a short article from the St. Louis Republican in the Chicago Legal News announcing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in her case.
This short article reveals an important insight that challenges some contemporary interpretations of Bradwell v. Illinois. First, it points out what we know, but sometimes overlook, that the Supreme Court holding in Bradwell did not prevent women from becoming lawyers or practicing law.6 More importantly, however, it suggests that Justice Bradley’s oftcited concurrence – where he reveals his horror of a woman, writing that “[t]he harmony, not to say identity, of interest and views which belong, or should belong, to the family institution is repugnant to the idea of a woman adopting a distinct and independent career from that of her husband”7 – that this opinion was perhaps not the dominant ideology of the day. Looking beyond the Supreme Court opinions, this paper attempts to assess what Bradwell v. Illinois meant to Myra Bradwell and the women’s rights movement.
Jordan, Gwen Hoerr
""Horror of a Woman": Myra Bradwell, the 14th Amendment, and the Gendered Origins of Sociological Jurisprudence,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 42
, Article 13.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol42/iss4/13