Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How 'bout a women's legal history trial?

A prince is about to stand trial for murder.
He's Hamlet, fatal assailant of the meddlesome man destined (if Ophelia had her way) to become his father-in-law.
At issue: given the welter of woe in which Shakespeare situated the troubled Dane, is the prince mentally competent to face judgment?
"The Trial of Hamlet" will take place January 31 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. (here for tickets & image credit) Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who created the play, will preside. A jury including celebs like Helen Hunt will decide.
Karen Wada of the Los Angeles Times properly places the staging in a Court tradition, writing that "[i]n 1987, for instance, three high court jurists heard arguments over who really wrote Shakespeare's plays." (On continuing high court furor over the question, see this article by Jess Bravin.)
Blog readers no doubt also are familiar with the many trials of this sort staged by the American Bar Association.
So here's a thought:
How 'bout retrying some signature event of women's legal history? (And see here and here.)
Jumping to mind are 2, both involving IntLawGrrls foremothers:
► The 1873 conviction of Susan B. Anthony (by a U.S. Supreme Court Justice) for the offense of illegal voting.
► Any number of 1917 jailings -- at times brutal -- of Alice Paul, Lucy Burns (left), and their National Woman's Party colleagues for the "direct action campaign" against U.S. entry into World War I. As IntLawGrrls alumna Catherine Lanctot has posted, they took that campaign to "the very doorstep of the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson."
Additional nominations welcome.

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