EPC and Sex Discrimination



Harlan on the Court

1877 - 1911

Warren Court

1954 - 1969

Liberal court

Burger Court

1969 - 1986

More conservative court

Rehnquist Court

1986 - 2005

Very conservative court


Bradwell v Illinois


Woman banned from being admitted to Illinois bar. Separate spheres ideology. "Paramount destiny of woman is to fulfill benign and noble office of wife and mother:

Minor v Happersett


Women don't get right to vote under 14A



Women can't be bartenders unless husband of family is owner of the bar. Protection of women from the bad men in bars.

Hoyt v Florida


FL law saying that women only serve on juries if they volunteer. Leads to no women on juries. Woman in criminal trial, loses. Says that no women = violation of 14A EPC. Court says law not unconstitutional.

Reed v Reed


Idaho probate law says that men should be preferred over women for administration of an estate. Court says law unconstitutional using RBT with bite. Not a rational basis even though the legislature says it was to reduce administrative difficulty.



Woman argues that US Air Force policy to give men dependent benefits automatically for wives, but not the other way around is violative of 5A DPC. Plurality opinion says strict scrutiny should apply, but only 4 justices sign on to this. Ultimately rule that the act is unconstitutional.

FRONTIERO FACTORS CREATED! 1) history of discrimination 2) immutability 3) visibility 4) political powerlessness 5) ability to contribute



Court says pregnancy discrimination is not women discrimination. Court upholds legislation saying state disability insurance shouldn't include women under rational basis test.



VMI's all-male military institute is unconstitutional. Alternative womens school created is not equal, therefore, not a suitable remedy. Use intermediate scrutiny here. SUBSTANTIALLY RELATED to IMPORTANT government interest.


15th Amendment


Allows black people to vote (political rights)

Jim Crow


Practice of racial segregation becomes known as "jim Crow" and separation becomes entrenched.

Florida was the first state to enact a statute requiring segregation in places of public accommodation. Eight other states followed Florida's lead by 1892.

NAACP Founded


The NAACP became the primary tool for the legal attack on segregation, eventually trying the Brown v. Board of Education case.

World War II

1939 - 1945