Document 23F: Justice Harry A. Blackmun, memorandum to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., 5 March 1973, Part I: Case File, 1956-1990, Box 299, Folder 11, Papers of William J. Brennan, 1945-1998, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court of the United States
Washington, D. C. 20543


March 5, 1973

Re: No. 71-1694 - Frontiero v. Richardson

Dear Bill:

   This case has afforded me a good bit of difficulty. After some struggle, I have now concluded that it is not advisable, and certainly not necessary, for us to reach out in this case to hold that sex, like race and national origin and alienage, is a suspect classification. It seems to me that Reed v. Reed is ample precedent here and is all we need and that we should not, by this case, enter the arena of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. This places me, I believe, essentially where Lewis and Potter are as reflected by their respective letters of March 2 and February 16.



Mr. Justice Brennan

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