From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Frontiero v. Richardson
United States Supreme Court
411 U.S. 677 (1973)
Congress passed a law granting members of the armed services with dependents an increased housing allowance, as well as medical and dental benefits for their dependents. Under the law, a serviceman was permitted to claim his wife as a dependent, regardless of whether the wife was actually dependent. In contrast, a servicewoman was only permitted to claim her husband as a dependent upon a showing that her husband was actually dependent on the servicewoman for more than half of his support. Sharron Frontiero (plaintiff), a member of the United States Air Force, tried to claim her husband (plaintiff) as a dependent. Frontiero’s application was denied, because she did not make the required showing of dependence. Frontiero alleged that the law violated the procedural and substantive requirements of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment by imposing additional procedural burdens on female service members and extending dependency benefits to non-dependent spouses of male service members. Frontiero brought suit in federal district court against the Secretary of Defense, Richardson, and others (defendants). A majority of the three-judge district court upheld the law, concluding that Congress might have believed the policy was economical and efficient because husbands are typically breadwinners, and wives are typically dependent. The Frontieros appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
Concurrence (Powell, J.)
Concurrence (Stewart, J.)
Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)
What to do next…
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 605,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 605,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 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.