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Reed v. Reed

    Citation. 22 Ill.404 U.S. 71, 92 S. Ct. 251, 30 L. Ed. 2d 225 (1971)

    Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Ms. Reed the mother of a deceased child (Petitioner), alleges a statute that prefers males over females in the administration of an estate to which they both have equal claims, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Classifications based on gender must be substantially related to an important government interest in order to be upheld per the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

    Facts. The Petitioner filed suit alleging a statute that prefers males over females in the administration of an estate that the Petitioner and the Respondent, Mr. Reed (Respondent) have equal claim, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Based solely on this statute the Respondent, the father of the deceased child, is declared the administrator of the child’s estate.

    Issue. Whether a statute that includes a gender based provision, preferring males over females to administer an estate, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

    Held. Reversed. This gender-based classification violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

    Discussion. Classifications based solely on gender are subject to scrutiny under the Equal Protection clause. The standard of review is that the statute must be reasonable and must rest upon some ground having a fair and substantial relation to the object of the legislation.


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