List of female state supreme court justices

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Below is a list of the names of the first woman to sit on the highest court of their respective states in the United States.

The first state with a female justice was Ohio; Florence E. Allen was named to the bench in 1923.[1]

State Justice Year
Alabama Janie Shores 1974
Alaska Dana Fabe 1996
Arizona Lorna E. Lockwood 1961
Arkansas Elsijane Trimble Roy 1976
California Rose Bird 1977
Colorado Jean Dubofsky [2] 1979
Connecticut Ellen Ash Peters 1978
Delaware Carolyn Berger[3] 1994
District of Columbia Catherine B. Kelly 1967
Florida Rosemary Barkett 1985
Georgia Leah Ward Sears 1992
Hawaii Rhoda V. Lewis[4] 1959
Idaho Linda Copple Trout[5] 1992
Illinois Mary Ann G. McMorrow 1992
Indiana Myra Consetta Selby[6] 1995
Iowa Linda Kinnedy Neuman[7] 1986
Kansas Kay McFarland 1977
Kentucky Sara W. Combs[8] 1993
Louisiana Catherine D. Kimball 1992
Maine Caroline Duby Glassman 1983
Maryland Rita C. Davidson[9] 1979
Massachusetts Ruth Abrams 1978
Michigan Mary Coleman[10] 1973
Minnesota Rosalie E. Wahl 1977
Mississippi Lenore L. Prather[11] 1982
Missouri Ann K. Covington 1988
Montana Diane Barz[12] 1989
Nebraska Lindsey Miller-Lerman 1998
Nevada Miriam Shearing 1992
New Hampshire Linda S. Dalianis 2000
New Jersey Marie L. Garibaldi[13] 1982
New Mexico Mary Coon Walters[14] 1984
New York Judith Kaye 1983
North Carolina Susie Sharp 1962
North Dakota Beryl J. Levine 1985
Ohio Florence Ellinwood Allen 1923
Oklahoma Alma Bell Wilson[15] 1982
Oregon Betty Roberts 1982
Pennsylvania Anne X. Alpern 1961
Rhode Island Florence K. Murray 1979
South Carolina Jean H. Toal 1988
South Dakota Judith Meierhenry 2002
Tennessee Martha Craig Daughtrey 1990
Texas Ruby Kless Sondock 1982
Utah Christine M. Durham 1982
Vermont Denise R. Johnson[16] 1990
Virginia Elizabeth B. Lacy 1988
Washington Carolyn R. Dimmick 1981
West Virginia Margaret Workman 1988
Wisconsin Shirley Abrahamson 1976
Wyoming Marylin Stebner Kite[17] 2000
United States Supreme Court Sandra Day O'Connor 1981

Female chief justices[edit]

State Chief Justice Year
Arizona Lorna E. Lockwood 1965
Arizona Lorna E. Lockwood 1970
North Carolina Susie Sharp 1975
California Rose Bird 1977
Michigan Mary S. Coleman 1979
Connecticut Ellen Ash Peters 1984
North Carolina Rhoda Billings 1986
Missouri Ann K. Covington 1993
Nevada Miriam Shearing 1993
Kansas Kay McFarland 1995
Oklahoma Alma Wilson 1995
Wisconsin Shirley Abrahamson 1996
New Jersey Deborah Poritz 1996
Alaska Dana Fabe 1996
Idaho Linda Copple Trout 1997
Minnesota Kathleen A. Blatz 1998
Massachusetts Margaret H. Marshall 1999
South Carolina Jean H. Toal 2000
Maine Leigh Saufley 2001
Montana Karla M. Gray 2001
Illinois Mary Ann McMorrow 2002
Utah Christine M. Durham 2002
Florida Barbara Pariente 2004
Georgia Leah Ward Sears 2005
North Carolina Sarah Parker 2006
Iowa Marsha Ternus 2006
Oklahoma Yvonne Kauger 2007
Alabama Sue Bell Cobb 2007
Connecticut Chase T. Rogers 2007
Tennessee Janice M. Holder 2008
Florida Peggy Quince 2008
Georgia Carol W. Hunstein 2009
Louisiana Catherine D. Kimball 2009
West Virginia Margaret Workman 2009
Tennessee Cornelia A. Clark 2010
Washington Barbara Madsen 2010
Wyoming Marylin S. Kite 2010
New Hampshire Linda S. Dalianis 2011
Ohio Maureen O'Connor 2011
Virginia Cynthia D. Kinser 2011
Maryland Mary Ellen Barbera 2013
Illinois Rita B. Garman 2013
Louisiana Bernette Joshua Johnson 2013
Colorado Nancy E. Rice 2014
Indiana Loretta Rush 2014
Tennessee Sharon G. Lee 2014
New Mexico Barbara J. Vigil 2014
Missouri Patricia Breckenridge 2015
Wisconsin Patience D. Roggensack 2015
New York Janet DiFiore 2016
Alabama Lyn Stuart 2016
New Mexico Judith Nakamura 2017
Washington Mary Fairhurst 2017

Instances of a female-majority court[edit]

Only a few times over the course of history has the percentage of women on the highest court in any state been greater than the percentage of men. Currently, the United States Supreme Court has the highest percentage of women Justices it has ever had, yet there has still never been a majority. In New Mexico, as of November 12, 2015, with the appointment of Justice Judith Nakamura, the New Mexican Supreme Court has a female minority-majority, a first in New Mexico and possibly a first in the United States.[18]

State Year
All-Woman Supreme Court (special sitting of the Supreme Court of Texas for a single case) 1925
California 2011–2017
District of Columbia 2006–2013, 2017–present
Michigan 1997, 2009
Minnesota 1991, 2016–present
New Jersey 2011
New Mexico 2015–present
New York 2003–2008, 2013–present
North Carolina 2011
Ohio 2002, 2005, 2011, 2018
Oregon 2017–present
Tennessee 2009–present
Washington 2013–present
Wisconsin 2003–2004, 2007–present
West Virginia 2017–present
Wyoming 2018–present

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Florence E. Allen". Ohio History Central. July 1, 2005.
  2. ^ "Jean Dubofsky". Cogreatwomen.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  3. ^ "Del. Supreme Court Justice Berger to retire". Delaware Online.
  4. ^ http://www.hsba.org/resources/1/About%20HSBA/Presidents%20Timeline.pdf
  5. ^ "Women Wielding Power-Idaho". Nwhm.org. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  6. ^ "Indiana Supreme Court Justice Biographies: Justice Myra Consetta Selby". In.gov. Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  7. ^ "Iowa Women's Archives – Linda Kinney Neuman Papers – The University of Iowa Libraries". Sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  8. ^ "Kentucky: Court of Justice – Judge Sara Walter Combs". Courts.ky.gov. 2010-07-28. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  9. ^ "Rita C. Davidson biography". Mdarchives.us. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  10. ^ "Michigan Supreme Court History Society ::". Micourthistory.org. Retrieved 2012-08-21.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Chief Justice Lenore Prather speaking this week at MSU (Mississippi State University)". Msstate.edu. 2000-10-10. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  12. ^ "Brief History of the Montana Judicial Branch – Montana Courts". Courts.mt.gov. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  13. ^ "Hon. Marie L. Garibaldi". Njwomenshistory.org. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  14. ^ "The Honorable Mary Coon Walters / Chief Justice Pamela B. Minzner Marker". Hmdb.org. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  15. ^ "WILSON, ALMA BELL (1917–1999)". Digital.library.okstate.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  16. ^ "October 2008 | In Chambers with Vermont's Supreme Court Justices Denise Johnson & Marilyn Skoglund". Vermontwoman.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  17. ^ "Our Legacy of Success". Made In Wyoming. Archived from the original on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  18. ^ Da, Royale. "For the first time, there's a female majority on the New Mexico Supreme Court". KOAT. Retrieved 2016-03-31.