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Reed v. Reed

Win Some, Lose Some

Sally Reed appealed the probate court's order to the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of Idaho. She was represented by Allen R. Derr, who maintained that the Idaho law violated Sally Reed's constitutional rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court agreed. It held that the two sections of law should be considered void, and directed the probate court to choose between Richard's parents based upon their relative qualifications, regardless of sex.

Cecil Reed quickly appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. This court rejected the district court's ruling. Finding that Idaho's legislature had "evidently concluded that in general men are better qualified to act as an administrator than women," and that this was "neither an illogical nor arbitrary method devised by the legislature to resolve an issue that would otherwise require a hearing as to the relative merits . . . of the two or more petitioning relatives," Idaho's Supreme Court reinstated Cecil Reed as administrator of his son's estate, since he was male.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Reed v. Reed - Significance, Win Some, Lose Some, Equal Protection, Further Readings