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Dothard v. Rawlinson

Case Background, The District Court Rules, A Split Decision, Dissenting Opinions, Further Readings


E. C. Dothard, et al.


Dianne Rawlinson, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That an Alabama law establishing height and weight requirements for state prison guards and barring women from serving as guards in male prisons was permissible under federal civil rights law.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

C. Daniel Evans

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Pamela S. Horowitz

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

27 June 1977


Alabama's ban on women prison guards was permissible under federal civil rights law, but its height and weight requirements were not.


The Supreme Court's decision in Dothard v. Rawlinson clarified the Court's interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


The Supreme Court's decision in Dothard v. Rawlinson was referred to in a number of subsequent sex discrimination cases.

Related Cases

  • Furnco Construction Corp. v. Waters, 438 U.S. 567 (1978).
  • Connecticut v. Teal, 457 U.S. 440 (1982).
  • Wards Cove Packing v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642 (1989).
  • Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 499 U.S. 187 (1991).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980