Orr v. Orr

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Orr v. Orr
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued November 27, 1978
Decided March 5, 1979
Full case nameWilliam Orr v. Lillian Orr
Citations440 U.S. 268 (more)
99 S. Ct. 1102; 59 L. Ed. 2d 306; 1979 U.S. LEXIS 65
Holding
The statute granting alimony only to women violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution
Court membership
Case opinions
MajorityBrennan, joined by Stewart, White, Marshall, Blackmun, Stevens
ConcurrenceBlackmun
ConcurrenceStevens
DissentPowell
DissentRehnquist, joined by Burger
Laws applied
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
 
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Orr v. Orr
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued November 27, 1978
Decided March 5, 1979
Full case nameWilliam Orr v. Lillian Orr
Citations440 U.S. 268 (more)
99 S. Ct. 1102; 59 L. Ed. 2d 306; 1979 U.S. LEXIS 65
Holding
The statute granting alimony only to women violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution
Court membership
Case opinions
MajorityBrennan, joined by Stewart, White, Marshall, Blackmun, Stevens
ConcurrenceBlackmun
ConcurrenceStevens
DissentPowell
DissentRehnquist, joined by Burger
Laws applied
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Orr v. Orr, 440 U.S. 268 (1979), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that held that a statutory scheme in Alabama that imposed alimony obligations on husbands but not on wives was an unconstitutional equal protection violation.[1]

Background[edit]

The state of Alabama had adopted a statutory scheme that imposed alimony obligations on husbands but not on wives for the stated purpose of addressing the economic disparity between men and women by providing support for needy women after divorce.[2]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Margaret Moses Young filed a brief for the American Civil Liberties Union as amicus curiae urging reversal.

Opinion of the Court[edit]

Applying intermediate scrutiny, the court determined that the statute was not substantially related to the stated purpose. The court observed that a gender neutral statute would still have the effect of providing for needy women, and that the only difference created by the Alabama statute was to also provide support for well off women that did not need support and to exclude needy men from support.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Varat, J.D. et al. Constitutional Law Cases and Materials, Concise Thirteenth Edition. Foundation Press, NY: 2009, p. 580
  2. ^ Varat, p. 580
  3. ^ Varat, p. 581

External links[edit]