‘Shortlisted’ by Renee Knake

‘Shortlisted’ by Renee Knake

Renee Knake of the University of Houston Law Center has coauthored a new book, Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court, available now.  

Professor Knake is an internationally recognized expert on professional responsibility and legal ethics – her research focuses, in part, on innovation in the regulation of legal services, proposing access to justice reforms.

From the publisher:

In 1981, after almost two centuries of exclusively male appointments, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Supreme Court Justice of the United States, a significant historical moment and a symbolic triumph for supporters of women’s rights. Most do not know, however, about the remarkable women shortlisted for the Supreme Court in the decades before O’Connor’s success. Since the 1930s, nine women were formally considered for a seat on the Supreme Court, but were ultimately passed over. Shortlisted gives them the recognition they deserve. Award-winning scholars Renee Knake Jefferson and Hannah Brenner Johnson rely on previously unpublished materials to illustrate the professional and personal lives of these accomplished women. From Florence Allen, the first woman judge in Ohio, and the first to appear on a president’s list for the Court, to Cornelia Kennedy, the first woman to serve as chief judge of a US district court, shortlisted by Ford, Nixon, and Reagan, Shortlisted shares the often overlooked stories of those who paved the way for women’s representation throughout the legal profession and beyond. In addition to filling a notable historical gap, the book exposes the harms of shortlisting―it reveals how adding qualified female candidates to a list but passing over them ultimately creates the appearance of diversity while preserving the status quo. With the stories of these nine exemplary women as a framework, Shortlisted offers all women a valuable set of strategies for upending the injustices that still endure. It is a must-read for those vying for positions of power as well as for those who select them.

Watch a video of Professor Knake discussing the inspiration for the book below. 


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