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Bradwell v. State: Some Reflections Prompted by Myra Bradwell's Hard Case That Made "Bad Law"

On April 14, 1873, the Supreme Court decided in the SlaughterHouse Cases1 that "privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States"2 protected by the new fourteenth amendment did not include the right of New Orleans butchers to practice their trade free of the regulation imposed by a Louisiana statute.3 The following day, April 15, the Court decided in Bradwell v. State4 that neither the fourteenth amendment nor the state privileges and immunities clause, article IV, section 2, clause 1,5 compelled Illinois to admit Mrs. Myra Bradwell to the bar of that state, although she was qualified except for her sex and married status.