Supreme Court of the United States

Today at the Court - Friday, Aug 17, 2018

  • The Supreme Court Building is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The Court will next convene for a public session in the Courtroom at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 1.
  • Courtroom Lectures available within the next 30 days.
  • There will be no Courtroom Lectures from Monday, August 20 through Friday, August 31.
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Did You Know...

Bradwell v. Illinois (1873)

In 1869, Myra Bradwell became the first woman to pass the Illinois State Bar Exam but the Illinois Supreme Court denied her a license to practice law because she was married. Bradwell appealed her case to the Supreme Court of the United States. In Bradwell  v. Illinois (1873), Bradwell’s lawyers argued that Illinois violated her rights under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment when it denied Bradwell a license to practice law. In an 8-1 decision, the Court disagreed. Justice Samuel F. Miller delivered the opinion of the Court, which held that state regulation of the practice of law was independent of citizenship of the United States, and thus was not protected by the 14th Amendment. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase was the lone dissenter.

Bradwell was ultimately admitted to the bars of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States in the early 1890s. Her story is among several women trailblazers currently featured in the exhibit, In Re Lady Lawyers: The Rise of Women Attorneys and the Supreme Court, located on the ground floor of the Supreme Court Building.


Myra Bradwell, circa 1899
Myra Bradwell, circa 1899
Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

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