Thursday, March 26, 2009

Caroly Whitener Inducted Into Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame

Thirty-seven years ago, three individuals in Stillwater, Oklahoma, challenged a state law that allowed females aged 18–20 to purchase beer of 3.2 % alcohol while males could not purchase beer until age 21. The law was challenged by two underage men, Mark Walker and Curtis Craig, who were joined by a female beer vendor, Carolyn Whitener. By the time the case was argued before the US Supreme Court, both men had turned 21 so only Carolyn Whitener was ruled to have standing.

Whitener and the two male students sued the Oklahoma Attorney General, the Oklahoma Legislature and the Oklahoma Governor for enforcing a law that, they argued, discriminated based on gender. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Whitener by ruling unconstitutional all laws advantaging one sex. A new equal protection standard had been established - gender. Craig v. Boren has been cited routinely in constitutional sex discrimination cases ever since. To read more, click HERE and HERE. Also see

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