Sex-Based Classifications

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  • Determined whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) authorizes “disparate impact” challenges to policies that do not explicitly discriminate on the ground of race or sex, but which have an unjustified disproportionate racial or gender impact.  
  • Determined if the First Amendment justifies a commercial business’s refusal to serve a customer in a protected group.
  • Determined whether it is constitutional, in Maryland, for insurance companies to charge different rates based on gender.
  • Determined whether denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the Oregon Constitution.
  • Considered the constitutionality of New Jersey's ban on same sex marriage.
  • Determined whether a criminal statute against same-sex sexual relations violated constitutional rights of lesbians and gay men.
  • Determined the constitutionality of state “head and master” laws, which deem the husband “master” of all marital property and allows him to control marital property without his wife’s consent.
  • Determined the parental rights of a non-biological lesbian co-parent after she and the biological co-parent are no longer partners.
  • Determined the right of a non-biological lesbian mother in Tennessee to visitation with children she raised with her former partner.
  • Determined whether a landlord's eviction of an organization serving transgendered clients, after the organization refused landlord's demand to bar these clients from common areas of the building, including the entrance and the restrooms, constitutes sex discrimination under New York law.
  • Considered whether denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the individual liberty and equality safeguards of the Massachusetts Constitution, protecting freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into protected areas of life and freedom to partake in state benefits.
  • Challenging denial of spousal health benefits by employer on the basis of same-sex marriage.


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