A landmark case marking the first time that the Supreme Court applied the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to strike down a statute because of gender discrimination.
When Richard Reed died, both of his separated parents, Cecil Reed and Sally Reed, petitioned the probate court to administer the estate. The Idaho code required the court to give mandatory preference to the father, without any consideration of the relative capabilities of the applicants. Sally Reed argued that the mandatory preference was unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court, by a 7-0 vote, agreed with her contention. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
Craig v. Boren
Equal protection clause
Frontiero v. Richardson
Rostker v. Goldberg