Saturday, July 25, 2020

Nadine Taub, Early Leader in Women’s Rights Law, Dies at 77 - The New York Times

Nadine Taub was a brilliant lawyer who with Ruth Ginsburg was among the first to litigate women's rights cases.  She began that work in 1971 at Rutgers where she was recruited by Ruth Ginsburg to found the Women's Rights Litigation Clinic.  I tell the story of that era in my essay People's Electric - Engaged legal Education at Rutgers Newark in the 1960s and 1970s. 
I was privileged to co-author a brief with her in Collins v. Union County Jail (1997).  A gay prisoner had been assaulted by a guard.  We wrote for amicus curiae National Organization for Women and helped to overturn the New Jersey precedents that one could not recover for sexual assault unless there had been physical injury. - gwc

Nadine Taub, Early Leader in Women’s Rights Law, Dies at 77 - The New York Times
by Penelope Green
In the early 1970s, Nadine Taub was one of a cadre of young female lawyers breaking new ground by fighting gender discrimination. Along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nancy Stearns and others, she made legal history in cases that successfully argued that equal rights for women were protected under the Constitution. She litigated cases for rape victims, for women seeking access to abortion and for employees battling workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.

“There weren’t many of us, and the field of women’s rights law was only just developing,” said Ms. Stearns, who as a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights was instrumental in the struggle to legalize abortion. “We all knew each other. We were among the young feminist progressive lawyers of our day, and it was a wonderful thing to have sisters doing what we were doing and believing what we believed.”

Ms. Taub, a professor emerita at Rutgers Law School, died on June 16 at her home in Manhattan. She was 77. She had for decades struggled with Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare autoimmune disease, her husband, Olof Widlund, said in confirming her death.

In 1974, Ms. Taub represented a woman who had reported being raped and who was then held overnight in a Newark jail as a material witness in her own assault because the police believed that she was a prostitute. As she told the journalist Christine VanDeVelde for an article in Savvy magazine in 1988, she was rattled by the depth of her response to her client’s experience.


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