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Case Basics
Docket No. 
United States Jaycees
(Argued the cause for the appellants)
(Argued the cause for the appellee)
Facts of the Case 

According to its bylaws, membership in the United States Jaycees was limited to males between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. Females and older males were limited to associate membership in which they were prevented from voting or holding local or national office. Two chapters of the Jaycees in Minnesota, contrary to the bylaws, admitted women as full members. When the national organization revoked the chapters' licenses, they filed a discrimination claim under a Minnesota anti-discrimination law. The national organization brought a lawsuit against Kathryn Roberts of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, who was responsible for the enforcement of the anti-discrimination law.


Did Minnesota's attempts to enforce the anti-discrimination law violate the Jaycees' right to free association under the First Amendment?

Decision: 7 votes for Roberts, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Association

In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the Jaycees chapters lacked "the distinctive characteristics that might afford constitutional protection to the decision of its members to exclude women." The Court reasoned that making women full members would not impose any serious burdens on the male members' freedom of expressive association. The Court thus held that Minnesota's compelling interest in eradicating discrimination against women justified enforcement of the state anti-discrimination law. The Court found that the Minnesota law was not aimed at the suppression of speech and did not discriminate on the basis of viewpoint.

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ROBERTS v. UNITED STATES JAYCEES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
ROBERTS v. UNITED STATES JAYCEES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"ROBERTS v. UNITED STATES JAYCEES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,