Goesaert v. Cleary

PETITIONER:Goesaert et al.
RESPONDENT:Cleary et al.

DECIDED BY: Vinson Court (1946-1949)

ARGUED: Nov 19, 1948
DECIDED: Dec 20, 1948

Facts of the case

A Michigan statute required that all bartenders hold licenses in cities with populations greater than 50,000, but the statute also stated that a woman could not be issued a license unless she was “the wife or daughter of the male owner” of a liquor establishment. Two female bartenders challenged the law, requesting an injunction against its enforcement, on the ground that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected the bartenders’ claim.


Did the Michigan statute, in denying female bartenders access to licenses, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?