Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bradwell v. Illinois case brief

Bradwell v. Illinois case brief summary
83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 130 (1873)

The Supreme Court of the State of Illinois denied plaintiff applicant's law practice application because, as a married woman, the applicant would have been bound neither by her express contracts nor by those implied contracts which it was the policy of the law to create between an attorney and a client.

  • On appeal, the applicant argued that there were certain privileges and immunities, which belonged to a citizen of the United States, and that admission to the bar of a state, for a person who possessed the requisite learning and character, was one of those that a state could not deny. 
  • The United States Supreme Court agreed that there were privileges and immunities belonging to United States citizens that a state was forbidden to abridge. 
  • However, the Court held that the right of admission to practice in the courts of a state was not one of these privileges andimmunities and that this right in no sense depended on citizenship of the United States. 
  • The Court reasoned that the right to control and regulate the granting of license to practice law in the courts of a state was one of those powers that was not transferred for its protection to the federal government. 
  • The Court found that its exercise was in no manner governed or controlled by citizenship of the United States in the party seeking such license.

The Court affirmed the denial of the application for a license to practice law.

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