Thursday, August 2, 2012

On August 2

On this day in ...
... 1896, a daughter, Sarah, was born in Baltimore to James and Elizabeth Tilghman, descendants of early American colonists. After a brief stint as a science teacher, she turned to law, earning her LL.B. from George Washington University in 1922. Having married a law school classmate, the same year, Sarah T. Hughes moved to Dallas, where the two practiced at separate firms. She was among the 1st women elected to the Texas Legislature. In 1935, she became the 1st woman state district judge in Texas, a judgeship to which she was repeatedly re-elected. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed her the 1st woman U.S. District Judge in Texas; she'd been supported by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, formerly a U.S. Senator from Texas, but was opposed by the American Bar Association on account of her age, 65. On November 22, 1963, after Kennedy's assassination, it fell to Judge Hughes to swear in Johnson as the country's 36th President. Hughes was also noted "for her speedy and impartial administration of justice" -- and for cases like Roe v. Wade, 314 F. Supp. 1217 (N.D. Tex. 1970) (per curiam), in which she was part of the 3-judge panel that held unconstitutional a Texas statute criminalizing abortion. Hughes died in 1985.

(Prior August 2 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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