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Benchmarks: Journal of the New York State Unified Court System

Summer 2006

DID YOU KNOW?

Q) Who was the first woman to hold judicial office in the United States?

A) Esther Hobart Morris was born in Tioga County, N.Y., on Aug. 8, 1814, but gained fame by becoming a justice in Wyoming. Early on she showed an interest in fighting for the rights of women and slaves. In 1869, she moved to South Pass City, Wyo., with her second husband and young son. That same year, the territory held its first legislative session and William H. Bright introduced a women’s suffrage bill that was signed into law, granting women the right to vote in all public elections, the right to own property, the right to serve on juries and equal pay as teachers. The following year, Wyoming appointed three women to serve as justices of the peace. Morris was the only one to actually serve, becoming the first woman to hold a judicial position in the nation.

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On-Line Access to Court Records Tested  2006 Law Day  Court of Appeals Decides Same-Sex Marriage & Depraved Indifference Cases  A Year As COSCA’s President  For the Record  Court Clerks:Unsung Heroes of the Courthouse  New Uncontested Divorce Packets  The Courts Closest to the People:The Town & Village Courts  City, Town & Village Resource Center  Justice Courts Action Plan  Improvements in Interpreting Services  UCS Technology Update  Report Calls for Overhaul of the Indigent Defense System  Judicial Association Spotlight  Historic New York State Courthouses and Trials  Did You Know?  Judicial Institute Highlights  JI Hosts Voter Education Symposium

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