Saturday, August 25, 2007

A friend to women

Today's San Francisco Chronicle carries news of the passing of Leo Kanowitz (right), emeritus professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and author of "the first extensive study of women's legal status in the civil rights era," which "became a reference work for feminist scholars and activists."
Born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents, Kanowitz was a feisty organizer for the feisty International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union before he began his law studies. As a postgrad in the early '60s he took part -- as the lone man -- in a women-and-the-law group put together by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then a law professor at Columbia and now, of course, the lone woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ginsburg's casebook coauthor, Herma Hill Kay, law professor and former dean at the University of California, Berkeley, told Chronicle reporter Bob Egelko that through his book Women and the Law: The Unfinished Revolution (1969), Kanowitz
called people's attention to the fact that the way the law was treating women could be viewed as a civil right, a human right, and not just a woman's right.

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