East Cleveland's housing ordinance limits occupancy of a dwelling to members of a single family.
Family is defined very narrowly and covers only a few categories of related individuals.
D lives with her two grandchildren; the boys are not brothers but cousins. This is not allowed by statute.
SCOTUS found law unconstitutional.
Does a law that keeps related family members from living with one another violate the DPC?
A law that keeps related family members form living with one another violates the DPC.
Our precedent (Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas) disallowed letting people unrelated by blood live together. It expressly allowed those who were related by blood, marriage, or adoption to live together.
The freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the DPC of the 14th Amendment.
Our decisions establish that the Constitution protects the sanctity of the family precisely because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in this nation's history and tradition.
The tradition at issue here is not limited to respect for the bonds uniting the members of a nuclear family.
It is clear that the statute infringes upon this right.
The city seeks to justify the statute as a means to prevent overcrowding, minimizing traffic, and avoiding an undue financial burden on the city's school system.
These are all legitimate goals, but the law serves them only marginally at best.
A valid family under the statute might have 12 children while there are only 2 in question in the case here.
The ordinance here did not impede D's choice to have children and it did not dictate to her how her children were to be reared.
The city could have easily hit upon a different definition of family; any definition would produce hardships in some cases without materially advancing the legislative purpose.
It is not the job for the courts to substitute their judgment for that of the legislature.