“Portias for Supreme Court” — 1912

16 February 1912 — San Francisco Call

“Portias for Supreme Court; Suffragists Suggest Names of Two” —
+++++Ellen Spencer Mussey is Washington Lawyer of Experience;
+++++Emma M. Gillett, LL.D., a Rival for Exalted Place on Bench”

gillettmussey“A woman lawyer may succeed the late Chief Justice Harlan on the United States supreme court bench. The names of Miss Emma M. Gillett, LL.D., and Mrs. Ellen Spencer Mussey, LL.D., have been suggested to President Taft by the District of Columbia Women Suffrage association. The president has been requested by the association to choose one of the women in making an appointment to fill the vacancy.

+++++Both women have practiced law for many years in the capital city and are prominent in their profession.  Mrs. Mussey has practiced in Washington for more than 20 years.  She obtained from congress the bill giving mothers in the district of Columbia the same right to their children as fathers and giving married women the right to engage in business and control their own earnings.  She is counsel for several national patriotic and labor organizations, is one of the founders of the American Red Cross, dean and founder of Washington college, and past president of the Legion of Loyal Women.
+++++Miss Gillett has practiced law before the United States supreme court in Washington for 10 years and, because of her recognized legal talent, is a formidable rival of Mrs. Mussey for the exalted place on the supreme bench.”

President Taft did not nominate either Ms. Mussey or Ms. Gillett to replace Justice Harlan.  A president did not nominate a woman for a seat on the United States Supreme Court until 1981, about 70 years after this article appeared in print.


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