Friday, February 15, 2008

On this day

On February 15, ...
... 1879, women 1st were authorized to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, after President Rutherford B. Hayes signed into law an authorization bill that'd passed both houses of Congress. Spearheading the legislation was Belva Lockwood, a New York-born, Washington-based attorney whom the Court had refused to admit to its bar 3 years earlier, proclaiming:
[N]one but men are permitted to practice before [us] as attorneys and counselors.

Lockwood would be sworn in to the Supreme Court bar in March 1879. The next year, in the case of Kaiser v. Stickney, she became the 1st woman to argue before the Court. Lockwood's amazing life story -- she also is the 1st woman to have "run a full-fledged campaign for the presidency of the United States" -- is the subject of Jill Norgren's recent book, Belva Lockwood, for which none other than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the foreword. (photo courtesy of the National Women's History Museum)
... 1922, at The Hague, an international judicial body established as part of the Covenant of the League of Nations held its 1st public session. The Permanent Court of International Justice, as it was called, operated until the onset of World War II made it impossible to continue.

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