Congress grants woman attorneys the right to argue cases before the Supreme Court

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Historical Context Note

American equal rights activist and lawyer Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood (24th October, 1830 - 19th May, 1917) was the first woman to be granted the right to argue cases before the US Supreme Court. Lockwood was one of the first female lawyers in the United States, and in the 1870s she repeatedly petitioned Congress for the same right to practice as male lawyers. In 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes (4th October, 1822 - 17th January 1893) signed a law allowing all qualified women lawyers to practice in any federal court.

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