Califano v. Webster
SCOTUS - 1977
- The Social Security Act contains a provision that allows women to calculate their earnings differently from men.
- Women are allowed to exclude 3 more years of low earnings than men can.
- This difference privileges women and allows them to collect more benefits.
- SCOTUS held constitutional.
- Are gender classifications benefitting women allowed when they are designed to remedy past discrimination or differences in opportunity?
- Gender classifications benefitting women are allowed when they are designed to remedy past discrimination or differences in opportunity.
- Reduction in the disparity in economic condition between men and women caused by the long history of discrimination against women has been recognized as an important gov't objective.
- The more favorable treatment of the female wage earner here was not a result of archaic and overbroad generalizations about women or of the stereotyping society has imposed on women.
- Rather, the only discernible purpose of the provision is the redressing of our society's longstanding disparate treatment of women.
- The challenged statute operated directly to compensate women for past economic discrimination.
- Classification benefitting women as a remedy for past, found constitutional.