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Murrell, Ethel E. | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Murrell, Ethel E.

Historical Note:

Ethel E. Murrell, a lawyer, writer and lecturer, campaigned for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. After graduating from the University of Miami Law School in 1934, Murrell opened a Miami law firm, and maintained her practice while travelling frequently to lecture on historical, religious, and feminist topics. During the 1940's, Murrell headed the Married Women's Law Committee of the Florida State Bar Association. The Association drafted and sponsored the Married Women's Act of 1943. Murrell defended the Act before the Florida Supreme Court in 1944 and succeeded in having the constitutionality of the law upheld on all points.

Murrell also participated in a drive for the re-drafting of the Florida constitution and was named a member of the Dade County Bar Association Constitutional Committee. She presented a resolution to the Bar calling for the inclusion of a phrase which would make men and women equal before the law. A dedicated member of the National Woman's Party (NWP), Murrell held the position of Chairwoman in 1952. Murrell, however, resigned one year later as a result of rivalries for leadership and the group's departure from the exclusive goal of the Equal Rights Amendment.

In addition to her political activities, Murrell wrote newspaper columns, magazine articles, college law textbooks and books of poetry which were published in the United States, Europe and the Far East.

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