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Tina Nelson
Attorney & Creator of the award-winning LAWSUIT!™ Board Game
Attorney & Creator of the award-winning LAWSUIT!™ Board Game
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On February 21, 1936, Barbara Jordan was born. She was a lawyer, educator and trailblazing politician. Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate. While serving in the Senate, members elected her president pro tempore. Then in 1972, she became the first African-American woman from the South elected to the United States House of Representatives. While serving in the House she obtained a coveted seat on the Judiciary Committee. She played a pivotal role during the Watergate impeachment hearings. Learn more at and #lawyer

On February 20, 1933, Congress proposed the 21st Amendment to repeal prohibition. On December 5, 1933, the Amendment was ratified by the States. Learn more at, and watch this interesting newsreel from that period

After Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, West Coast residents became very suspicious of Japanese Americans. They were concerned that they'd assist Japan in further attacking the U.S. The hysteria eventually caused President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, to issue Executive Order 9066. (See FDR's Order at

The Order called for the forced relocation of over 100,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps. When the Order was contested at the Supreme Court the government vigorously defended its actions and the Court sided with them. The United States Department of Justice has since issued a “Confession of Error” which can be found at

When you’re in New York, I highly recommend visiting Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Library and Museum. Take a look at some of the exhibits you’ll see there at The Museum includes an exhibit on Executive Order 9066.

In November 1987 President Reagan nominated Judge Anthony Kennedy to the United States Supreme Court. You can watch President Reagan's press conference at At the time he was serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On February 3, 1988, the Senate confirmed his nomination, and on February 18, 1988, he was sworn in as an Associate Justice. Take a look at the Congressional Record at To learn more, watch this great news clip from Washington Week's "The Backstory: Justice Anthony Kennedy-- The Decider" at #scotus #lawyers

The 5th Amendment states private property can’t “be taken for public use, without just compensation.” In 1822 John Barron brought a lawsuit against the City of Baltimore claiming their actions caused him to lose the use of his wharf— violating his 5th Amendment rights. On February 16, 1833, however, the United States Supreme Court didn't agree. Chief Justice John Marshall explained-- the 5th Amendment was not applicable to states or local governments. It was meant to regulate the federal government. When Baltimore deprived Barron of the use of his land he had no remedy under the Bill of Rights. Notably, that changed after the passage of the 14th Amendment. Learn more by listening to this video at #scotus #lawsuit

From 1914 to 1932 Benjamin Nathan Cardozo served on the New York State Court of Appeals (initially as an Associate Justice, later as Chief Justice). On February 15, 1932, President Hoover appointed him to the United States Supreme Court where he remained until his death in 1938.

Today that nomination would be unheard of-- a Republican president nominating a Democrat to the Supreme Court. More surprising in today's world, however, is that in 1932 the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. You can learn more about Justice Cardozo at #scotus #apgov

In January 1916 President Woodrow Wilson appointed Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jewish nominee, to the United States Supreme Court. This controversial nomination prompted a heated confirmation hearing.  Eventually, however, the Senate confirmed the appointment in a 47 to 22 vote, and Louis Brandeis became the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice.From June 5, 1916, until February 13, 1939, Justice Brandeis served on the Court. Learn more about him at #OTD #scotus

On February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born. Before becoming our 16th President he was a well-respected lawyer. You can learn about his legal career at President Lincoln is most remembered, however, for his accomplishments as president, including the passage of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery. It was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, the same year.

It took five more years--until 1870--before the 15th Amendment (which was meant to protect against racial discrimination in voting) was finally adopted.

On February 11, 1856, the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford was argued before the Supreme Court; and on Mar 6, 1857, the Court held that African-American slaves (and their descendants) were not citizens. Consequently, they had no standing to sue for their freedom in a United States court. Chief Justice Taney wrote, “in the opinion of the court, the legislation and the histories of the times, and the language used in the Declaration of Independence show, that neither the class of persons who had been imported as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were then acknowledged as a part of the people, nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument.” See the original ruling maintained by the National Archives at #OTD, #SCOTUS

On February 10, 1947, the United States Supreme Court decided Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing. A taxpayer, Everson, sued the government claiming it was unconstitutional to use tax money to reimburse bus fare of parochial students travelling to and from school. He argued that it violated the First Amendment’s prohibition against the government "respecting an establishment of religion". The Court disagreed. Justice Black explained-- the tax-raised funds do “no more than provide a general program to help parents get their children, regardless of their religion, safely and expeditiously to and from accredited schools. The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. [The government] has not breached it here.”
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