Reed v. Reed

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Reed v. Reed

404 U.S. 71 (1971), declared a state law unconstitutional on the ground that it discriminated against women, the first such decision in the Court's history. The law in question was one that preferred the father over the mother as executor of a son's estate. Despite nearly two centuries of upholding the constitutionality of such gender-discriminatory laws, the Court said in this case that the father-preference represented “the very kind of arbitrary legislative choice forbidden by the [Fourteenth Amendment's] equal protection clause.”

Learn More About Reed v. Reed

Dictionary Entries Near Reed v. Reed

reduction to practice

Reed v. Reed


See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Reed v. Reed.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!