A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

The story was about a significant constitutional case concerning private property rights and eminent domain before the U.S. Supreme Court. But buried in the text was the observation that with the absence of Chief Justice Rehnquist due to illness and another Justice (Stevens) missing due to a travel snafu, that “created an opportunity for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the most senior remaining justice, to become the first woman to preside over an oral argument at the court.”

The significance of this moment was its relative insignificance. Meaning that 20 some years after she became the first woman on the Supreme Court, O’Connor’s assumption of the presiding role at the Court was not treated as anything extraordinary. That illustrates the extraordinary social changes wrought by the women’s rights movement, which began with Betty Friedan and blossomed in the late 1970s. When I was in law school (1978-81), it was the first time that women made up nearly 50% of the student body. I remember celebrating Myra Bradwell Day, named after the first woman who was admitted to the bar as an American lawyer (after unsuccessfully appealing her initial denial to the U.S. Supreme Court) in 1870. Now it’s no big deal to have female lawyers, women judges and even women presiding at the Supreme Court. The same Supreme Court, mind you, that wrote about Bradwell, “The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many occupations of civil life….The paramount destiny and mission of women are to fulfill the noble and benign office of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator.”

Holy revolution, Batman! John Riggins, of Washgington Redskins fame, once drunkenly quipped to O’Connor “Loosen up, Sandy baby.” I think it’s more appropriate, now, to say — like the old cigarette ad (or the newer Fatboy Slim CD) — “Sandy, you’ve come a long way, baby.”

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>