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Reitman v. Mulkey

United States Supreme Court
387 U.S. 369 (1967)


Facts

In 1964, California voters, by initiative and referendum in Proposition 14, passed Article I, § 26 as an amendment to the California Constitution. Article I, § 26 prohibited the State of California from making any laws that prohibited the right of property owners to discriminate against potential renters for any reason. The Mulkeys (plaintiffs) were a husband and wife who sued the Reitmans (defendants) under §§ 51 and 52 of the California Constitution alleging that the Reitman’s refused to rent them an apartment solely on account of their race. Sections 51 and 52 of the California Constitution prohibited race-based discrimination in property rentals. The Reitmans argued that §§ 51 and 52 were made null and void after passage of Article I, § 26 through Proposition 14. The California Supreme Court found that Proposition 14 impermissibly entangled the State of California in private discriminations and held Article I, § 26 unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, 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.).

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Dissent (Harlan, J.)

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