Ohio Oil Co. v. Conway, 10, [ . must be subjected to close judicial scrutiny, because it focuses upon generally immutable characteristics over which individuals have little or no control, and also because gender-based classifications too often have been inexcusably utilized to stereotype and stigmatize politically powerless segments of society. There can be no doubt, therefore, that Florida's differing treatment of widows and widowers "`rest[s] upon some ground of difference having a fair and substantial relation to the object of the legislation.'" 73-78 Argued: Decided: April 24, 1974. By merely redrafting that form to exclude widows who earn annual incomes, or possess assets, in excess of specified amounts, the State could readily narrow the class of beneficiaries to those widows for whom the effects of past economic discrimination against women have been a practical reality. Tables prepared by the Women's Bureau, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. ] It is still the case that in the majority of families where both spouses are present, the woman is not employed.
It may be suggested that the State is entitled to prefer widows over widowers because their assumed need is rooted in past and present economic discrimination against women. The Florida Supreme Court reversed and held that the gender classification had a “fair and substantial relation” to the purpose of the legislation. (1971). and national origin, Appellant, a widower, was denied an exemption because the statute offers no analogous benefit for widowers. ] See Bell's Gap R. Co. v. Pennsylvania, In such cases, the government must prove not only that such classifications serve a compelling government interest, but also that the interest cannot be served by any other classification. Posted on November 8, 2012 | Constitutional Law | Tags: Constitutional Law Case Brief. 273 So.2d 72, 73 (1973). of Oral Arg. Google Chrome, . 320 The exemption is granted only to widows who complete and file with the tax assessor a form application establishing their status as widows. and it applies here as well. Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. 7 No. Frontiero v. Richardson, It was denied because the statute offers no analogous benefit for widowers.
The email address cannot be subscribed. 253 Id., at 690 (emphasis in original). Sydney H. McKenzie III, Assistant Attorney General of Florida, argued the cause for appellees. The circuit court held that the statute was gender-based and therefore violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. U.S. 71 80. . "We have returned to the original constitutional proposition that courts do not substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies, [which] are elected to pass laws."
In my view, however, a legislative classification that distinguishes potential beneficiaries solely by reference to their gender-based status as widows or widowers, like classifications based upon race, Kahn (P) was a widower in Florida who sued the state of Florida (D) on the grounds that the statute enabling widows but not widowers to claim a property tax exemption was arbitrary. In 1974, Kahn v. Shevin had upheld differences in property tax exemption between widows and widowers, and the Supreme Court ruled in Geduldig v. Aiello that denying compensation from work loss due to pregnancy did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. and neglect, the statute serves the compelling state interest of achieving equality for such groups. Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. wrote a dissenting opinion in which he argued classifications based on characteristics over which individuals have no control, such as gender, must be subject to strict judicial scrutiny. In this case, he argued that the purpose of the legislation could be achieved without gender-based discrimination. [416
] And in Frontiero the plurality opinion also noted that the statutes there were "not in any sense designed to rectify the effects of past discrimination against women. No. 404 (1944); Hirabayashi v. United States, U.S. 89 But the issue, of course, is not whether the statute could have been drafted more wisely, but whether the lines chosen by the Florida Legislature are within constitutional limitations. The Florida tax exemption at issue here is available to all widows but not to widowers. . It seems to me that the State in this case is merely conferring an economic benefit in the form of a tax exemption and has not adequately explained why women should be treated differently from men. Plaintiff sued based on a violation of the equal protection clause. ] In 1941 Fla. Stat. A Florida statute grants widows an annual $500 property tax exemption. 404 APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA. 454. Allied Stores v. Bowers, 411 281 Does the Florida statute that only provides property tax exemptions to widows violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? ] The dissents argue that the Florida Legislature could have drafted the statute differently, so that its purpose would have been accomplished more precisely. 1964 ...................... 3,690 6,195 59.6 1963 ...................... 3,561 5,978 59.6 1962 ...................... 3,446 5,794 59.5 1961 ...................... 3,351 5,644 59.4 1960 ...................... 3,293 5,417 60.8 1959 ...................... 3,193 5,209 61.3 1958 ...................... 3,102 4,927 63.0 1957 ...................... 3,008 4,713 63.8 1956 ...................... 2,827 4,466 63.3 1955 ...................... 2,719 4,252 63.9 ------------------------------------------------------------- Note. (1969); Carrington v. Rash, At the same time, there are many widowers who are needy and who are in more desperate financial straits and have less access to the job market than many widows. [416 403 . Supreme Court of United States. In levying such taxes, the State is not required to resort to close distinctions or to maintain a precise, scientific uniformity with reference to composition, use or value. You also agree to abide by our. The Florida Supreme Court reversed, finding the classification valid because it has a "`fair and substantial relation to the object of the legislation,'"
[416 WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 360. Kahn was a widower who was denied the exemption on the grounds that it applied only to women. The basis for making a gender-based classification is not sufficient based on the state’s arguments.
You have successfully signed up to receive the Casebriefs newsletter. , 76." [ 3 U.S. 351, 360] While doubtless some widowers are in financial need, no one suggests that such need results from sex discrimination as in the case of widows. U.S. 351, 361] With him on the brief was Robert L. Shevin, Attorney General, pro se. ] See Oyama v. California, The presumption is that all widows are financially more needy and less trained It was denied because the statute offers no analogous benefit for widowers. , on which the Court specifically relied, id., at 419-420, emphasized that the special physical structure of women has a bearing on the "conditions under which she should be permitted to toil." See Shapiro v. Thompson, , where the Government denied its female employees both substantive and procedural benefits granted males "solely . - Data for 1962-72 are not strictly comparable with those for prior years, which are for wage and salary income only and do not include earnings of self-employed persons. Widower Mel Kahn applied to the Dade County Tax Assessor’s Office for the property tax exemption, which was denied.
The dissents would use the Equal Protection Clause as a vehicle for reinstating notions of substantive due process that have been repudiated. -192 (1964); Bolling v. Sharpe, Gender-based classifications cannot be sustained merely because they promote legitimate governmental interests, such as efficacious administration of government. 3 2000e-2 (a), (c), as does the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 77 Stat. Since at least 1885, Florida has provided for some form of property tax exemption for widows. All rights reserved. . Justice Thurgood Marshall joined in the dissent. . U.S. 351, 355]. (White, J.) U.S. 146, 159 6 U.S., at 77 ] See Frontiero v. Richardson,
. On the contrary, these statutes seize upon a group - women - who have historically suffered discrimination in employment, and rely on the effects of this past discrimination as a justification for heaping on additional economic disadvantages." I agree that, in providing special benefits for a needy segment of society long the victim of purposeful discrimination . Ante, at 355. U.S. Bureau of the Census: Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. Firefox, or Of those employed as managers or administrators, the women's median income was only 53.2% of the men's, and in the professional and technical occupations the figure was 67.5%.
In ths case the tax exemption is founded on a reasonable premise, that the financial impact of losing a spouse is disproportionately higher for the female sex, and that the exemption of this class from tax will reduce the financial burden. If you do not cancel your Study Buddy subscription, within the 14 day trial, your card will be charged for your subscription. Other data point in the same direction. Ginsburg looked to Weinberger v. 2 1974-1975), has been essentially unchanged since 1941. 9 286 (1967); McLaughlin v. Florida, Footnote 10 U.S. 356, 359 Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued the cause for appellant. (1954). The Court rejects widower Kahn's claim of denial of equal protection on the ground that the limitation in Fla. Stat. [ Is a state law arbitrary or unfounded upon fact if it discriminates in favor of a certain class of people in order to underplay a certain difference between them or to promote a certain difference of state policy, as long as such a difference does not clash with their constitutional rights? U.S. 83, 87
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