Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Califano v. Goldfarb

United States Supreme Court
430 U.S. 199 (1977)


Hannah Goldfarb was employed as a secretary for 25 years. Pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, Mrs. Goldfarb paid social-security taxes while working. In 1968, Mrs. Goldfarb passed away. Based on the taxes paid by Mrs. Goldfarb, her husband, Leon Goldfarb (plaintiff), sought widower’s benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Benefits (OASDI) program, 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-431, which was administered by Joseph Califano (defendant), the U.S. secretary of health, education, and welfare. Mr. Goldfarb’s application was denied because he had not been receiving at least half his support from Mrs. Goldfarb when she died, as required by section 402(f)(1)(D) of the OASDI program. The district court held that section 402(f)(1)(D) constituted gender-based discrimination in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Califano appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 222,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.