Craig v. Boren

PETITIONER: Craig
RESPONDENT: Boren
LOCATION: Craig's Residence

DOCKET NO.: 75-628
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 429 US 190 (1976)
ARGUED: Oct 05, 1976
DECIDED: Dec 20, 1976

ADVOCATES:
Frederick P. Gilbert - Argued the cause for the appellants
James H. Gray - Argued the cause for the appellees

Facts of the case

An Oklahoma law prohibited the sale of "nonintoxicating" 3.2 percent beer to males under the age of 21 and to females under the age of 18. Curtis Craig, a male then between the ages of 18 and 21, and a licensed vendor challenged the law as discriminatory.

Question

Did an Oklahoma statute violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause by establishing different drinking ages for men and women?

Media for Craig v. Boren

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 05, 1976 in Craig v. Boren

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - December 20, 1976 in Craig v. Boren

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

The judgment and the opinion of the Court in No. 75-628, Craig against Boren will be announced by Mr. Justice Brennan.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

An Oklahoma statute, prohibits the sale of "nonintoxicating" 3.2% beer to males under the age of 21 and the females under the age of 18.

A three judge District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma held that this did not constitute a gender-based discrimination that denied the male 18 to 20 years of age the equal protection of the law.

We reverse.

We hold that Oklahoma's gender-based differential does constitute an invidious discrimination against males 18 to 20 years of age in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Mr. Justice Powell and Mr. Justice Stevens while joining the Court's opinion have filed concurring opinions; Mr. Justice Blackmun joining over Part II-D of the Court's opinion has filed a separate concurrence statement; Mr. Justice Stewart has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment; the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist dissent and they have filed separate dissenting opinions.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Brennan.