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The United States Supreme Court and Equal Protection of the

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Jose Castellanos

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of The United States Supreme Court and Equal Protection of the

The United States Supreme Court and Equal Protection of the Laws for Women
The Discrimination Cases
Griswold v. Connecticut
Griswold v. Connecticut involved a law that prohibited the use of "Any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of contraception."
The Abortion Cases
Impact of the Cases
The cases listed have for the most part expanded the liberties of women in this nation, guaranteeing them rights and liberties that would have been previously unheard of. These cases effectively set in a new motion for greater equality and civil liberties for all, not just the majority in power.
Reed v. Reed
This United States Supreme Court case dealt with the administration of estates, and naming administrators in a way that discriminates between sexes.
Craig v. Boren
Curtis Craig challenged an Oklahoma law that prohibited women under eighteen and men under twenty-one to purchase beverages with an alcohol content of 3.2% or higher, based on the equal protection laws of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Roberts v. United States Jaycees
The United States Jaycees are a fraternal organization that focus on management. Kathryn Roberts was a member of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and an enforcer of the anti-discrimination laws in Minnesota.
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Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Five provisions of a Pennsylvania law controlling abortions were challenged as being unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade. As such, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania filed a suit against Governor Robert P. Casey.
Roe v. Wade
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
The State of Missouri passed a law saying that life begins at conception and that unborn children have interests in life that should be protected. The Court of Appeals struck down the law, but William Webster, Missouri Attorney General challenged the decision.
The Issue Before the Court
Jane Roe wished to get an abortion, challenging Texas law on the basis that it violated her Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy, saying that the Due Process clause extended to letting a woman have an abortion at her own discretion.
The Decision
The Court ruled in a 7-2 decision in Roe's favor, saying that it was indeed a right of privacy. The Court however stated that the right to an abortion had to balance with the State's interest in protecting prenatal life and women's health.
Facts of the Case
Texas Law at the time prohibited abortions, except when the pregnancy posed a threat to the mother's life
Roe claimed that her right to an abortion was an extension of the right of privacy of the Due Process Clause
The Issue Before the Court
Webster challenged the overturning of the Missouri law, which prohibited the use of state funds in the performing or counseling of abortions.
Facts of the Case
The law gave unborn children equal rights, prevented doctors from aborting a fetus deemed viable, and prohibited the counseling or performing of abortions, except in the case of life endangerment
The law was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals
The Decision
The Supreme Court ruled in Webster's favor, overturning the lower court's overturning of the law, stating that the law was constitutional, and did not conflict with the Roe v. Wade decision.
The Issue Before the Court
Planned Parenthood argued that the five provisions of the law were unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, violating the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Facts of the Case
The five provisions stated that doctors had to inform women of health risks of abortions, required women to inform their husbands and minors to receive parental consent, imposed a 24-hour hold, and set mandates on abortion facilities.
The Decision
The Court ruled 5-4 in Casey and the State of Pennsylvania's favor, stating that the restrictions were constitutional and upheld the provisions set by the law.
The Issue Before the Court
Estelle Griswold, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, had opened a birth control clinic with Dr. C Lee Buxton, a licensed physician. The State had them arrested, tried, and fined due to its law prohibiting the use of contraceptives.
Facts of the Case
Contraception in Connecticut had been illegal since 1879
Griswold argued that the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment
The Decision
In a 7-2 vote, the Court ruled that the Connecticut law was unconstitutional, on the grounds that it violated Section 1 of the First Amendment, which states that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States".
The Issue Before the Court
Sally and Cecil Reed, a married couple that had been separated, fought over who was to administer the estate of their deceased son. Idaho law favored males before females in administration.
Facts of the Case
Both Sally and Cecil sought to be named the administrator
Cecil was appointed administrator due to an Idaho law that preferred males to females
The Decision
The Court unanimously ruled that the law's dissimilar treatment of men and women was unconstitutional, and that administration of an estate could not be lawfully given solely on one's sex.
The Issue Before the Court
Curtis Craig argued that the Oklahoma law violated the equal protections clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by establishing different drinking ages for men and women, while Boren, the governor of Oklahoma, argued that men are more likely to be killed or arrested while intoxicated than women.
Facts of the Case
Oklahoma allowed women over 18 to purchase beverages with 3.2% alcohol content, but men were required to be 21
Craig argued that Oklahoma violated the Equal Protections Clause by establishing different drinking ages for men and women
The Decision
The Court ruled in a 9-2 decision that the law did violate the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the Twenty-First Amendment, which states that States are not allowed to discriminate in the sale, purchase, or consumption of alcohol, effectively overturning the Oklahoma law.
The Issue Before the Court
Membership to the Jaycees was limited to males aged 18-35, however two chapters in Minnesota had their licenses removed after they had allowed women full membership. The chapters filed a lawsuit against the national organization, under a Minnesota anti-discrimination law. The national organization filed a lawsuit against Kathryn Roberts, who enforced these anti-discrimination laws.
Facts of the Case
Women were only allowed partial membership into the Jaycees
Kathryn Roberts was responsible for enforcing the laws, as the Acting Commissioner for the Department of Human Rights
The Jaycees held that their right to exclusive membership was protected by the First Amendment
The Decision
The Court unanimously decided that the Jaycees lacked characteristics that would permit it to have the First Amendment rights that would uphold their decision to exclude membership to women. Therefore, the state of Minnesota retained the right to prohibit sex discrimination in private organizations. The Court also ruled that the State's intention of battling sex discrimination allowed the law to affect the Jaycees.
Jane Roe filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, challenging a law that prohibited women from having an abortion.
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