The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women: From Obstacles to Options

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Lexington Books, May 24, 2012 - Law - 158 pages
The Supreme Court is one of the most traditional institutions in America that has been an exclusively male domain for almost two hundred years. From 1981 to 2010, four women were appointed to the Supreme Court for the first time in U.S. history. The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women: From Obstacles to Options, by Nichola D. Gutgold, analyzes the rhetoric of the first four women elected to the Supreme Court: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Gutgold’s thorough exploration of these pioneering women’s rhetorical strategies includes confirmation hearings, primary scripts of their written opinions, invited public lectures, speeches, and personal interviews with Justices O’Connor, Ginsberg, and Sotomayor. These illuminating documents and interviews form rhetorical biographies of the first four women of the Supreme Court, shedding new light on the rise of political women in the American judiciary and the efficacy of their rhetoric in a historically male-dominated political system. Gutgold’s The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women provides valuable insight into political communication and the changing gender zeitgeist in American politics.

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1 Up From Obscurity
2 Sandra Day OConnor
3 Ruth Bader Ginsburg
4 Sonia Sotomayor
5 Elena Kagan
6 Women and the Supreme Court
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About the author (2012)

Nichola D. Gutgold is associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Lehigh Valley. She is the author of Almost Madam President:Why Hillary Clinton ‘Won’ in 2008, Seen and Heard: The Women of Television News, and co-author of Gender and the American Presidency: Nine Presidential Women and the Barriers They Faced.