Similarities in Bradwell v. Illinois and Elk v. Wilkins

Similaritiesin Bradwellv. Illinoisand Elkv. Wilkins

Oneof the similarities between the cases Bradwellv. Illinois andElkv. Wilkins arethat they both justify racial and gender discrimination. Secondly,they achieve these forms of discriminations through looseinterpretation of the stipulations in the fourth Amendment. Thirdly,the forms of discrimination are achieved by relying on the provisionsthat override the provisions of rights and freedoms of pursuant.

BradleyVs State of Illinois case,the United States Supreme Court case, fortified the narrowinterpretation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause, determiningthat the rights for professional practices were never among theprivileges outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment. In this case, MyraBradwell applied to be admitted at the Illinois bar in pursuance tothe state statute that allowed any person with moral character andwith satisfactory training to be allowed to work. However, the courtruled that, because she was a woman, the nature of the work wouldcompromise her femininity, denying her the admission. When the casewas appealed, the United States Supreme Court upheld the ruling ofIllinois court, reasoning that the privileges covered under theFourteenthAmendment did not apply to profession issues. The court opinionsignored lengthy discussions and, instead, opted to premise theirruling on the SlaughterhouseCases.In the case, Myra Bradwell proceeded to argue that since she had beenborn in Vermont, where she could have been allowed to work, and movedto Illinois, the her denial of the license to practice law atIllinois amounted to forms of interstate discrimination. However, thecourt ruled that she was no longer a citizen of Vermont anymorebecause she had stayed at Illinois for several years (Weisberg45).

InElkv. Wilkins,Elk was denied the right to vote because he was denied by CharlesWilkins for reason that he had been born as member of Indian tribes.Elk argued that he had renounced his tribal alliance and was nowlegible to register as a voter as provided in the FourteenthAmendment. Therefore, the issue in the case was whether being born amember of the Indian tribes and renouncing allegiance later wasadequate to enable one to qualify to be registered as a vote. Thecourt held that although the Indian tribes existed within theterritorial limits of the United States, they were different nationsthat the United States could only deal with through treaties. Thecourt reasoned that being born a member to the states expresslyimplied one owed immediate allegiance to the tribes, and could not beconsidered as citizen of the United States. Therefore, Elk could notqualify to be registered as voter because he was only part of theUnited States community by virtue of the treaties signed with theIndian tribes, which could not grant him citizenship (Eastman56).

Inconclusion, three similarities are discernible from the comparison ofBradwellv. Illinois andElkv. Wilkins. Oneof the similarities between the cases Bradwellv. Illinois andElkv. Wilkins arethat they both justify racial and gender discrimination. Secondly,they achieve this discrimination through loose interpretation of thestipulations in the fourth Amendment. Thirdly, the forms ofdiscrimination are achieved by relying on provisions that subvert theprovisions rights and freedoms of pursuant.


Eastman,John. &quotFrom Feudalism to Consent: Rethinking BirthrightCitizenship,&quot Legal Memorandum No. 18 (Heritage Foundation,Washington D.C.), March 30, 2012. Print

Weisberg,Kelly. &quotBarred from the Bar: Women and Legal Education in theUnited States 1870-1890&quot. Journalof Legal Education.28(2014): 485–507.