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Califano v. Goldfarb - Significance

benefits security appellant law

Appellant

Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare on behalf of the Social Security benefits program

Appellee

Leon Goldfarb, on behalf of widowers seeking survivors benefits from the program

Appellant's Claim

That the Social Security Act's gender-based distinction requiring widowers to prove that they were dependent on their spouses for at least half of their support in order to receive survivor benefits, did not discriminate against the deceased females.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Keith A. Jones

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart

Place

Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 October 1977

Decision

That the Social Security Act's gender-based distinction requiring widowers to prove that they were dependent on their spouses for at least half of their support in order to receive survivor benefits, discriminated against the deceased spouses by violating the Fifth Amendment's pledge of equal protection under the law.

Related Cases

  • Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris, 463 U.S. 1073 (1983).

Further Readings

  • Cohen, William, and John Kaplan. Constitutional Law: Civil Liberty and Individual Rights. Mineola, NY: The Foundation Press, 1982.
  • Kauper, Paul G., and Francis X. Beytagh. Constitutional Law: Cases and Materials. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980.
Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of NewYork - Significance, The Four-part Test, Questioning The Four-part Test, Further Readings [next] [back] Butz v. Economou - Significance, The Lower Court Rulings, Officials Entitled To Qualified Immunity, Officials Not Liable For Mistakes In Judgment

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