December 29 , 2008

Her Honor

Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women's Movement


While there is no single hero of the Minnesota women’s movement, Rosalie Wahl, the first woman on the Minnesota Supreme Court, changed the way her fellow judges saw the cases they decided. A champion of both women’s rights and civil rights, she brought new attention to the problems that faced women impoverished by divorce, women abused by their partners, and others who coped with poverty and discrimination. With sharp intelligence and hard work, Wahl herself had overcome childhood tragedy and a difficult marriage to become a defense attorney, a respected judge, and a mentor to many.

As essential backdrop to Wahl’s inspiring story, Lori Sturdevant charts the progress of the women’s rights movement in Minnesota and showcases notable leaders on both sides of the aisle. Meet Arvonne Fraser and Emily Anne Staples, founders of the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus; Joan Growe, the first Minnesota woman elected to state office; and many more who paved the way for women’s rights in Minnesota.

Her Honor is both a powerful record of an era and a tribute to a humble leader.

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