Sex Discrimination: State Veteran's Preference Statute Declared Unconsitutional under Discriminatory Purpose Rule
Military veterans have traditionally been granted special advantages in securing governmental employment. The underlying rationale for such benefits is to promote the governmental interest in rewarding those who have served their country in the military, to aid in the rehabilitation and relocation of veterans whose life style has been disrupted by the military service, and to provide incentives for young men and women to join the armed forces. This form of legislation' has been the subject of many constitutional challenges on due process and equal protection grounds. Due to proscriptions limiting the number of women eligible to enter the military, veterans' preference statutes have generally been inaccessible to most women. Accordingly, an increasing number of judicial challenges have been made by women alleging that preference legislation violates the equal protection clause. The statutes have generally been upheld as a rational means of implementing a state's goal of aiding the veteran. Nevertheless, in Feeney v. Massachusetts, a three-judge federal district court upheld a challenge to the Massachusetts veterans' preference statute due to its unfair impact on women, causing them to be precluded from that state's higher administrative positions.
The focus of this note is on the rationale applied by the district court, on remand, in reaffirming its earlier decision to declare the veteran's benefit statute unconstitutional.
Ciambrone, Richard A.
"Sex Discrimination: State Veteran's Preference Statute Declared Unconsitutional under Discriminatory Purpose Rule,"
University of Dayton Law Review: Vol. 4:
2, Article 13.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udlr/vol4/iss2/13