• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court voided a child support statute as a violation of the equal protection clause.

Utah’s highest court of appeals upheld a state law setting the maximum age for child support for males at twenty-one and females at eighteen, finding women matured faster than men. Thelma Stanton sued her former husband after he stopped paying child support when their daughter turned eighteen. By an 8-1 vote, the Supreme Court voided the statute as a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the opinion for the Court, Justice Harry A. BlackmunBlackmun, Harry A.;Stanton v. Stanton[Stanton v. Stanton] claimed the Court had used the rational basis test in this sex discrimination case. Nonetheless, the Court found the statute lacking in a rational basis although other judges and legislators had found it rational. Justice William H. Rehnquist dissented saying that the issue was not properly before the Court because the age limit had been set voluntarily in the divorce decree.Discrimination, sex;Stanton v. Stanton[Stanton v. Stanton]

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Categories: History