From our private database of 15,100+ case briefs...

Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County

United States Supreme Court
450 U.S. 464 (1981)


Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County

Facts

A California law defined statutory rape as sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 18 who is not the perpetrator's wife. Michael M. (defendant), a 17-year-old male, was charged with violating California’s statutory-rape law by having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old female. He sought dismissal of his charges in California state court on the grounds that the statutory-rape law violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The trial court denied his motion, and the Supreme Court of California affirmed. The state supreme court found that the statutory-rape statute discriminated on the basis of sex because only females could be victims, and only males could be charged with violating the statute. Nevertheless, the court concluded that the gender classification in the statute was justified by California's compelling state interest in preventing illegitimate teenage pregnancies. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

Concurrence (Blackmun, J.)

Concurrence (Stewart, J.)

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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 288,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,100 briefs, keyed to 205 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.