Using a video featuring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, students compare legal and historical interpretations of seven women in Supreme Court history.
In 1873, the case of Bradwell v. Illinois was brought before the Supreme Court to determine whether Myra Bradwell’s right to practice law was protected by the 14th Amendment. Replete with historical references and inside legal jokes, the excerpts of the moot court in this video showcase the history of women’s involvement in the Supreme Court yet the facts presented often don’t tell the complete story. Go beyond the popular narrative of these historic women by comparing the real facts of their lives with the story being told in the moot court to gain a deeper understanding of their impact on the Supreme Court.
In partnership with the law firm O’Melveny & Myers and the non-profit The Green Bag, Newseum Education hosted a moot court (or re-enactment) of Bradwell v. Illinois (1873). The moot court was planned in honor the life of Belva Lockwood, the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court Bar and thus allowed to argue before the court. The program, featuring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was held Oct. 18, 2016, at the Newseum.
GRADE LEVEL: Middle and high school
TIME: 30-60 minutes
MATERIALS: Copies of “Women Who Shaped the Supreme Court” worksheet