Bradwell v. Illinois

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Bradwell v. Illinois 

83 U.S. 130 (1873), upheld an Illinois Supreme Court decision that denied a woman (Bradwell) the right to practice law because of her gender. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on the ground that the state court's decision was at odds with the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but the high court took the same narrow view of the clause that it had established (only the day before) in the Slaughterhouse Cases (see also Butchers' Benevolent Assoc. of New Orleans v. Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughter-house Co.). As a result, sex-discriminatory statutes did not begin being struck down on Fourteenth Amendment grounds until well into the 20th century.

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