The US Supreme Court didn’t always stand on the land where it’s now situated, as the Architect of the Capitol website explains. What official accounts don’t reveal, however, is that the government took the property from the National Woman’s Party (NWP) and that a feminist jurist fought tooth and nail to get top dollar for it.

The lawyer who argued on behalf of the NWP and other groups in the late 1920s was Burnita Shelton Matthews. She ultimately secured the highest award for an eminent domain case ever won up until that point, and would go on to become the first female trial court judge on the federal bench.

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