Beverly Baines, “But Was She a Feminist Judge?”

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During her time on the bench, Justice Wilson refused to identify as a feminist. Her silence did not deter feminists from applauding many of her decisions. Nor did it preclude them from critiquing three opinions: Pelech, Morgentaler, and Hess. In this chapter, first I identify the features of feminist legal theory that inform these critiques. Next I explore some of the recent challenges that women’s studies and gender theorists have posed for this theory. I conclude that it makes a significant difference to analyze Justice Wilson’s three contested opinions from the perspective of gender theory.

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