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Case Basics
Docket No. 
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

Anthony and Linda Sidoti, both Caucasians, were divorced and Linda was awarded custody of their daughter. One year later, Anthony sought custody of the child after Linda began cohabitating with Clarence Palmore, an African-American. The Florida courts awarded Mr. Sidoti custody of the child, arguing that the child would be more vulnerable to social stigmatization in a racially mixed household. No evidence was introduced that indicated Ms. Sidoti was unfit to continue the custody of the child.


Did the removal of the child from Linda Sidoti's custody violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Decision: 9 votes for Palmore, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

In a unanimous decision, the Court held that while ethnic prejudices did exist in society, those private biases were not permissible considerations for the removal of an infant child from the custody of its mother. "Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect." The Court thus held that the decision of the lower courts was an unconstitutional denial of rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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PALMORE v. SIDOTI. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 02 August 2015. <>.
PALMORE v. SIDOTI, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 2, 2015).
"PALMORE v. SIDOTI," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 2, 2015,