Fallen Woman (Re)framed: Judge Jean Hortense Norris, New York City - 1912-1955
62 Pages Posted: 2 May 2019
Date Written: 2019
This Article seeks to surface and understand more than what is already known about Jean Hortense Norris as a lawyer, jurist, and feminist legal realist—as well as a woman for whom sex very much became part of her professional persona and work. This article analyzes the lack of legal protections provided to Norris and troubling nature of her removal from the bench given the evidence presented and standards applied. Finally, this Article seeks to provide further context for Jean Norris’s alleged misconduct charges to suggest that as a woman who dared to blur gender boundaries, embrace her professional power, and offer a unique vision of the “fairer sex,” she was held to a different standard than her male peers and made to pay the price with her career. In these ways, this Article provides a more complete picture of Jean Norris beyond a shamed and disrobed judge. And it begins to move Judge Norris out of legal history’s margins so that she may be remembered as more than mere mugshot in the American imagination.
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