State of the Union

Mae Kuykendall mae.kuykendall at law.msu.edu
Tue Jan 31 15:33:59 PST 2006


Would not Justice O'Connor be the preeminent instance of a woman who gained power through her own efforts, without being the spouse or daughter of a powerful man?  Presidential spouses have used the spousal role to exercise covert influence, and President Wilson's wife is said to have functioned as a virtual President.  Other women have been counsellors and confidants of the President or, like Pamela Harrington, exercised social power as hostesses that translated to political influence.  But none, unless I am missing something (Frances Perkins, Margaret Chase Smith?), became nearly as important as Justice O'Connor sailing under her own power.  The (faint) constitutional issue here is the mixture of accountable and covert power particularly where gender is a subtext.  Might we need an impeachment process someday for a spouse?

Mae Kuykendall

>>> "Chambers, Hank" <hchamber at richmond.edu> 1/31/2006 4:27:09 PM >>>
Why? 

-Hank 

Henry L. Chambers, Jr., Professor of Law
University of Richmond School of Law
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
804-289-8199


-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu 
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Sanford Levinson
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:15 PM
To: Scott Gerber
Cc: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu 
Subject: RE: State of the Union

Scott writes:
 
In my view, Sandra Day O'Connor is the most important woman in the
history of American politics.  

This is something that he and I can completely on!

sandy


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