Symposium highlights 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, a College of Law symposium this month focused attention on the power that has come with women’s voting rights.

The symposium, “Looking Back and Looking Forward: The 19th Amendment 100 Years Later,” featured an esteemed group of guests who explored a number of topics related to the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon G. Lee moderated a discussion about female representation in the Tennessee judiciary that highlighted the career paths of many of the state’s most prominent female judges. 

Panelists included 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Bernice Donald, Julia Smith Gibbons, and Jane Stranch, along with Eastern District of Tennessee U.S. District Chief Judge Pamela L. Reeves. 

Other discussion topics included the role the courts have played in the fight for women’s rights; obstacles to women’s equality in the professional sphere; current issues in voting rights law; and how race, poverty, criminal history, and other issues impact women’s ability to vote. 

Attorney Margaret Behm and 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Judge Martha Daughtrey, both trailblazers for women in the legal profession, discussed the future of the women’s rights movement in Tennessee. 

The event was organized by student staff members of the College of Law’s Tennessee Law Review.