Sex Discrimination Cases
Craig v. Boren 429 U.S. 190 (1976) (W|L)
- Male between the ages of 18 and 21, along with a licensed vendor of
3.2% beer, brought action for declaratory and injunctive relief against
Oklahoma statutes prohibiting the sale of 3.2% beer to males under the
age of 21 and females under the age of 18. A three-judge District Court
for the Western District of Oklahoma, 399 F.Supp. 1304, denied relief
and plaintiffs appealed. The United States Supreme Court, Mr. Justice
Brennan, held that the male plaintiff, who had attained the age of 21
after the Supreme Court had noted probable jurisdiction, did not have
standing; that the vendor did have standing; that gender-based
classifications must serve important governmental objectives and must be
substantially related to the achievement of those objectives; that
statistical evidence as to incidence of drunken driving among males and
females between the ages of 18 and 21 was insufficient to support the
gender-based discrimination arising from the statutes in question; and
that the Twenty-First Amendment did not save the invidious gender-based
discrimination from invalidation as a denial of equal protection.
Frontiero v. Richardson 411 U.S. 677 (1973) (W|L)
- Suit was brought by a married woman air force officer and her husband
against the Secretary of Defense seeking declaratory and injunctive
relief against enforcement of federal statutes governing quarters'
allowance and medical benefits for members of the uniformed services.
The Three-Judge United States District Court for the Middle District of
Alabama, 341 F.Supp. 201, denied relief, and plaintiffs appealed. Mr.
Justice Brennan announced the judgment of the Supreme Court and
delivered an opinion, in which Mr. Justice Douglas, Mr. Justice White
and Mr. Justice Marshall joined, holding that classifications based upon
sex are inherently suspect and must be subjected to strict judicial
scrutiny, and that statutes providing, solely for administrative
convenience, that spouses of male members of the uniformed services are
dependents for purposes of obtaining increased quarters allowances and
medical and dental benefits, but that spouses of female members are not
dependents unless they are in fact dependent for over one-half of their
support, violate due process clause of the Fifth Amendment insofar as
they require a female member to prove dependency of her husband.
Heafey Law Library Research Team