REED v. REED

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
70-4
Appellee 
Reed
Appellant 
Reed
Opinion 
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the appellee)
(Argued the cause for the appellant)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The Idaho Probate Code specified that "males must be preferred to females" in appointing administrators of estates. After the death of their adopted son, both Sally and Cecil Reed sought to be named the administrator of their son's estate (the Reeds were separated). According to the Probate Code, Cecil was appointed administrator and Sally challenged the law in court.

Question 

Did the Idaho Probate Code violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for Reed, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the law's dissimilar treatment of men and women was unconstitutional. The Court argued that "[t]o give a mandatory preference to members of either sex over members of the other, merely to accomplish the elimination of hearings on the merits, is to make the very kind of arbitrary legislative choice forbidden by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. . .[T]he choice in this context may not lawfully be mandated solely on the basis of sex."

Cite this Page
REED v. REED. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 06 August 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_4/>.
REED v. REED, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_4/ (last visited August 6, 2014).
"REED v. REED," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 6, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_4/.