Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SW Bell's Lopez Connects with Call-Free Dinner Table

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SW Bell's Lopez Connects with Call-Free Dinner Table

Article excerpt

An Oklahoma college kid who wanted to buy 3.2 beer changed the face of gender equality and leveled the field in the battle of the sexes, said Chief Judge for the 10th Circuit Stephanie K. Seymour.

The keynote speaker for Oklahoma City University's Law Day, Seymour declared the Oklahoma case, Craig v. Boren -- which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 -- as changing the high court's underlying perception of gender equality.

"This is not a case about beer. It's about the 14th Amendment," said Seymour, who was appointed to the 10th Circuit in 1979. The chief judge explained that Craig v. Boren redefined the constitutionality of gender-based laws, a new definition that applied to last year's widely-publicized VMI case, in which the high court ruled that the Virginia military academy's policy of excluding women was unconstitutional. Though players in Craig v. Boren were home-spun Oklahomans, the consequences were of national significance. "This is a story about concerned citizens and committed lawyers who came together in a common cause over 20 years ago," Seymour said. The case involved Mark Waller, a 18-year-old Oklahoma State University student in the mid-70s, who ambled into the Honk-n- Holler convenience store in Stillwater, hoping to buy some 3.2 "belly wash" as the co-eds were apt to call it. To his dismay, a state law prohibited him from purchasing the brew until he reached the age of 21, though his female school chums could buy suds at the tender age of 18. Why? The state's rationale was that the law promoted traffic safety because 18 to 20 year-old-males were arrested for DUI more frequently than females in the same age group. In reality, though, the state's flimsy statistics showed that 2 percent of males and .18 percent of females in the 18 to 20 age group were arrested for drunk driving. So Waller challenged then-Oklahoma governor David Hall, charging that the law denied the 18-year-old equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.