Our Georgia History
 

Women allowed on jury duty
December 3, 1948 The Board of Governors of the Georgia Bar Association unanimously backs a bill allowing women jurors to be seated
  Women allowed on jury duty
January 24, 1949 Georgia Women Jurors bill moves to the floor of the state house
  Women allowed on jury duty
February 24, 1949 Georgia Women Jurors bill fails to pass the state house
  Women allowed on jury duty
April 12, 1951 [circa] Mary Ball Tinius becomes the first woman to be seated on a jury in Georgia, in White County, Georgia. Legislation had not yet passed allowing women jurors
  White County, Georgia
  Women allowed on jury duty
February 23, 1953 [circa] State senate tables Women Juror bill
  Women allowed on jury duty
December 9, 1953 The Womens Juror Bill is introduced on the floor of the state senate. It eventually passes, 30-8
  Women allowed on jury duty
December 21, 1953 Governor Gene Talmadge signs into law the Womens Juror Bill
  Women allowed on jury duty


After World War II Georgia struggled to allow women the right to serve on juries. The right to vote, granted women in 1920 in the United States, did not give them the right to sit on juries in Georgia (although it did in many states outside the South). It would take Georgia more than 30 years to allow this right to females.

The first bill to reach the Georgia house that permitted women to sit on juries occurred in 1937. It was easily defeated. A 1941 bill suffered a similar fate. In 1946 the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in Ballard v. United States,
The systematic and intentional exclusion of women, like the exclusion of a racial group, or an economic or social class, deprives the jury system of the broad base it was designed by Congress to have in our democratic society . . . . The injury is not limited to the defendant -- there is injury to the jury system, to the law as an institution, to the community at large, and to the democratic ideal reflected in the processes of our courts.
However, the Court stopped short of requiring women on juries. It only limited federal jurors to jurors who were qualified by state law. This ruling energized the women's movement to get women on juries in Georgia.

The Georgia Bar Association backed the admittance of women to the jury box in 1947. A series of bills from 1948 to 1953 made their way through the state house and senate, finally passing in late 1953. Then Governor Gene Talmadge signed the bill, although he admitted to having misgivings about the bill.




Return to Index


FrontHistory 101Early GeorgiaAmerican IndiansSearch
WarsPeopleTimelineListsPlacesPoetry




Golden Ink
Georgia's innovative design group


Legal Notice
Privacy Policy
Copyright