Foot Soldiers of the Law

The paramount mission and destiny of women are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator.

It was also the doctrine of the Supreme Court in 1873, when Justice Joseph Bradley wrote those words in a decision upholding the right of Illinois to deny a license to practice law to the first woman applicant, Myra Bradwell. Women, the court in effect ruled, could be barred from becoming lawyers.

Nothing dramatizes the changes that have taken place in the past 108 years more than the nomination of Sandra O'Connor to the bench where Bradley...

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