United States Courts
Western district of Missouri
Judge Tacha Speaks On Feminist Jurisprudence
On October 21, 2009, the Court joined the Kansas Women Attorneys Association and the Kansas City Association of Women Lawyers in presenting "A History of Feminist Jurisprudence: Then and Now." The speaker was the Honorable Deanell Tacha of the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Tacha began by describing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and how the word "gender" was inserted as a protected category in an effort to defeat the bill. When the bill was signed into law, the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender was treated much as an afterthought, and it took litigation over many years -- of which few cases ever appeared in the headlines of our country's newspapers -- before equal protections were truly extended to women. The Judge moved on to discuss a variety of other legislative and case law changes impacting women’s rights, and she peppered her speech with anecdotes about challenges for women lawyers.
Judge Tacha related many personal experiences as a law student, a young associate and a judge which shaped her understanding of the need for these protections and her pride in the promotion of women in the work force and especially within the legal profession.
The Western District was proud to present Judge Tacha’s program as part of its educational outreach efforts, and special thanks go out to Kathy Bussing of Husch Blackwell Sanders and Sherri Wattenbarger of the U.S. Trustee’s Office for their leadership in organizing the event.