Tuesday, November 8, 2022

100 Years Ago This Election Ohio Elected the Nation's First Woman Supreme Court Judge and Six Women State Legislators

Thomas Suddes, When Running for Votes Gives Way to Running Gives Way to Running the Numbers, Cleveland.com

Groundbreakers: Although the anniversary seems to be passing without much notice, it was 100 years ago this week, on Election Day 1922, that Ohioans elected the first six women to be General Assembly members — and the first woman in the United States to serve on any state’s highest court, a lawyer who was a notable Greater Clevelander.

Elected on Nov. 7, 1922, to the Ohio Supreme Court was Judge Florence Ellinwood Allen, of Cuyahoga County (1884-1966). She was the first woman in the United States to serve at the pinnacle of any state’s judicial system. Allen served on the Ohio Supreme Court until 1934. That’s when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Allen to the Cincinnati-based U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the first woman to serve on any federal circuit court.

Also elected 100 years ago this week were the first women to serve as members of the Oho General Assembly — two state senators, four state representatives. All six were Republicans, and two were Greater Clevelanders.

Elected to the Ohio Senate in November 1922 were Sen. Maude Comstock Waitt, of Lakewood (1878-1935), and Sen. Nettie Bromley Loughead, of Cincinnati (1870-1936).

Elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1922 were Rep. Nettie McKenzie Clapp, of Cleveland Heights (1868-1935); Rep. Lulu Thomas Gleason, of Toledo (1864-1953); Rep. Adelaide Sterling Ott, of Youngstown (1871-1929); and Rep. May Martin Van Wye, of Cincinnati (1878-1968).

Today, according to Rutgers’ Center for American Women in Politics, 30.3% of the Ohio General Assembly’s members are women — in a state whose population is 50.7% female.

I've written about Judge Florence Allen, see Tracy Thomas, The Jurisprudence of the First Woman Judge, Florence Allen: Challenging the Myth of Women Judging Differently, 27 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 293 (2021), and am currently at work on a book about Allen and women's longstanding demand for access to the systems of legal justice and the courts.




Courts, Judges, Legal History | Permalink


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