Brief Fact Summary. Oklahoma State maintained different drinking ages between men and women for the consumption of 3.2% alcohol beer. The Appellant, Craig (Appellant), now alleges that this difference violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Gender-based classifications must satisfy intermediate scrutiny requirements to pass constitutional muster.
Issue. Does the Oklahoma statute violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution?
Held. Yes. Appeals Court ruling reversed and remanded.
Justice William Brennan (J. Brennan) argues that case precedent dictates that an intermediate level of scrutiny should be applied in analyzing the statute. Specifically, the gender-based classification must serve an important government objective and be substantially related to the achievement of such objective.
The District Court unequivocally found that the objective to be served by the statute is increased traffic safety. J. Brennan is not persuaded by the Appellees’, Craig and others (Appellees), statistics that the statute closely serves the stated objective. As such, it is not constitutional.
Limitations on a litigant's assertion of jus tertii are not constitutionally mandated, but rather stem from a salutary rule of self-restraint designed to minimize unwarranted intervention into controversies where the applicable constitutional questions are ill-defined and speculative.View Full Point of Law