Newcomb College Endowed Chair
Executive Director, Newcomb College Institute
Professor of Political Science
Sally J. Kenney
Academic Discipline: Political Science
Title: Newcomb College Endowed Chair, Professor of Political Science
Institution: Tulane University
Address:#43 Newcomb Place, New Orleans, LA 70118
Education and Employment: Sally J. Kenney became the Newcomb College Endowed chair Executive Director of the Newcomb College Institute, and Professor of Political Science in 2010. From 1995-2009, she was a Professor of Public Affairs and Law and Director of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Before that, she held joint appointments in Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Iowa. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University, a B.A. and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa. She has taught law at the University of Iowa, Minnesota, Nijmegen University (Netherlands), Boĝaziçi University (Turkey) and visited in the Law Departments of the London School of Economics (as an Atlantic Fellow), and Queen’s University, Belfast (as a Fulbright Scholar).
Scholarly interests: Her first book, For Whose Protection? Reproductive Hazards and Exclusionary Policies in the United States and Britain, examined how courts and judges construct rather than discover gender differences through law by examining cases on women’s exclusion from hazardous work. She explored why feminists in the U.S. and U.K. took different positions on protective legislation and how they used litigation to promote feminist social change. That work broadened to several studies of pregnancy discrimination more generally, and then an examination of how the equal employment opportunity case law of the European Court of Justice had a progressive influence on pregnancy discrimination in the U.K. She than began a stream of research on the European Court of Justice, examining its use of référendaires (law clerks) and how member states select judges. She co-edited books on comparative constitutional law, Constitutional Dialogues in Comparative Perspective, and on feminist epistemology, Politics and Feminist Standpoint Theories.
Publications on gender and judging: Her more recent work has been on judicial selection and women judges. Her book, Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter, will be published by Routledge in July of 2012. She has also written an article for publication in the Nevada Law Journal, titled “Toward A Feminist Political Theory of Judging: Neither the Nightmare Nor the Noble Dream.”
She has researched the appointment and election of Rosalie Wahl, the first women to serve on the Minnesota State Supreme Court. She has published both a public policy teaching case study, “Thank you for being ready: Minnesota’s First Supreme Court Justice, Rosalie Wahl” and a journal article, “Mobilizing Emotions to Elect Women: the symbolic meaning of Minnesota’s first woman Supreme Court justice,” for publication in the journal, Mobilization: An International Journal.
She has written about Florence Allen, the first woman federal judge in the United States, and the role her sexuality played in her ascendancy to the bench and in her failure to become the first woman U. S. Supreme Court Justice. “It Would be Stupendous for Us Girls: Campaigning for Women Judges without Waving.” chapter in Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985.” Edited by Kathleen Laughlin and Jacki Castledine, Routledge Press, Rotledge Press. 2010.
She has written about whether the type of judicial selection system makes it easier or more difficult for women to ascend to the bench for the paper she presented at the Oñati conference. “Which Judicial Selection Systems Generate the Most Women Judges? Lessons from the United States” in Gender and Judging, edited by Ulrike Schultz and Gisela Shaw, forthcoming, Hart, 2011.
Her article, “Women and the Judiciary,” is currently under review for the Michigan State Law Review special issue on Pipelines to Power. She has written on the significant changes in judicial selection in England and on British efforts to appoint more women to the bench. These include “Gender on the Agenda? The Appointment of Women Judges in England,” Journal of Politics, “Equal Employment Opportunity and Representation: Extending the Frame to Courts,” Social Politics 11:1 (Spring 2004): 86-116, “Breaking the Silence: Gender Mainstreaming and the European Judiciary,” Feminist Legal Studies, 10 (2002): 257-270, “Britain Appoints First Woman Law Lord,” Judicature, January/February 87(4) 2004, and “United Kingdom’s Judicial System Undergoes Major Reform,” Judicature, September/October 2003.
She reviews and critiques the political science literature on women judges in “Thinking about Gender and Judging,” in the special issue on Gender and Judging of the International Journal of the Legal Profession.
She conducted research on President Carter’s appointment of women judges and changes in the judicial selection system, working in the Carter presidential papers, reviewing secondary literature, and conducting interviews. The paper she presented at the annual meeting of the Law & Society Association annual meeting in Berlin explored the role of strategically placed women insiders who work in partnership with outside groups to advance a feminist agenda (“Femocrats, Gender, and Judicial Selection: the Inside Story,” paper delivered at the 2007 Law & Society meeting in Berlin.) She compared the Carter and Clinton appointments of women to the federal bench. That paper has been shorted as a chapter in Gender and Justice. She has written an essay entitled “Making the Case for Women Judges,” delivered at the International Conference on Women in the Legal Professions, Law Faculty, University of Buenos Aires, April 18, 2007. That revised chapter in under review for a book edited by Beatrice Kohen.
She has urged the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to count the number of women judges as it rates states’ progress on women, “Counting Women Judges: The Intersection of Law and Politics,” Conference Proceedings, “The Status of Women in Minnesota,” Conference on Critical Junctures in Women’s Economic Lives, Center for True Economic Progress, 2002, and has editorialized about recognizing the inherently political nature of judicial selection, “Politics will inevitably be a part of judicial selection,” Guest Editorial, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 14, 2003.
Other gender and judging work: She was one of three co-chairs of the Program for International Research Collaborative on Gender and Judging from 2005-2007 and, along with Ulrike Schultz, is now the co-convener of the Collaborative Research Network on Gender and Judging for the Law & Society Association.
She is a co-founder of the Infinity Project whose mission is to increase the gender diversity of the federal bench to ensure the quality of justice in the Eighth Circuit. (They take their name from the number eight on its side). www.theinfinityproject.org
She served on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Gender Fairness Implementation Taskforce from 2008-2009 where she convened the judicial selection committee and served on the 20th anniversary conference planning committee.
She has attended numerous meetings of the National Association of Women Judges and served on its judicial academic network from 2002-2004, organizing and presenting at panels. She attended the Dublin meeting of the International Association of Women Judges in 2003 and the London meeting in 2012. She is working closely with the Louisiana Judges to plan the academic part of the conference in New Orleans in 2013.
She has served on the board of directors of Watch, a local court monitoring organization on domestic violence and sexual assault.
Bibliography: (in the order referred to in the text)
Constitutional Dialogues in Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillon. 1999
Politics and Feminist Standpoint Theories. Routledge. 1998
Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter, Routledge 2012
“Toward A Feminist Political Theory of Judging: Neither the Nightmare Nor the Noble Dream,” Nevada Law Journal, vol. 17:549. 2017.
“Mobilizing Emotions to Elect Women: the symbolic meaning of Minnesota’s first woman Supreme Court justice,” Mobilization: An International Journal 15(2)(2010): 135-158
“Critical Perspectives on Gender and Judging,” Politics and Gender, 6 (2010), 433-495.
“It Would be Stupendous for Us Girls: Campaigning for Women Judges without Waving.”chapter in Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985.” Edited by Kathleen Laughlin and Jacki Castledine, Routledge Press, Routledge Press, 2010.
“Thank you for being ready: Minnesota’s First Supreme Court Justice, Rosalie Wahl,”
“Gender on the Agenda? The Appointment of Women Judges in England,” Journal of Politics
“Equal Employment Opportunity and Representation: Extending the Frame to Courts, Social Politics 11:1 (Spring 2004): 86-116.
“Breaking the Silence: Gender Mainstreaming and the European Judiciary,” Feminist Legal Studies, 10 (2002): 257-270.
“Britain Appoints First Woman Law Lord,” Judicature, January/February 87(4) 2004.
“United Kingdom’s Judicial System Undergoes Major Reform,” Judicature, September/October 2003.
“Thinking about gender and judging,” presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society annual meeting, Baltimore July 2006, revised for publication in a special issue on gender and judging in the “International Journal of the Legal Profession.
“Counting Women Judges: The Intersection of Law and Politics, Conference Proceedings, “œThe Status of Women in Minnesota,” Conference on Critical Junctures in Women’s Economic Lives, Center for True Economic Progress, 2002. Counting Women Judges
“Femocrats and Judicial Selection: Reconeptualizing Social Movement Insiders,” paper delivered at the 2007 Law & Society meeting in Berlin.
“Politics will inevitably be a part of judicial selection,” Guest Editorial, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 14, 2003.
“Infinity Project seeks to increase gender diversity of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Judicature 92(3): 1-2 November-December 2008.