Home » LAW » Schlesinger v. Ballard 1975

Schlesinger v. Ballard 1975

See Baer and Goldstein, pp. 69-72.

Syllabus w/headnotes

Appellee, a naval officer with more than nine years of active service, who failed for a second time to be selected for promotion and thus under 10 U.S.C. § 6382(a) was subject to mandatory discharge, brought this action claiming that application of that statute to him, when compared to 10 U.S.C. § 6401 (under which, had he been a woman officer, he would have been entitled to 13 years of commissioned service before a mandatory discharge for want of promotion), was an unconstitutional discrimination based on sex in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. A three-judge District Court, relying on Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U. S. 677, concluded that the challenged mandatory discharge provisions are supported solely by considerations of fiscal and administrative policy, and upheld appellee’s claim.

Held: The challenged legislative classification is completely rational, and does not violate the Due Process Clause. Pp. 419 U. S. 505-510.

(a) The different treatment of men and women naval officers under §§ 6382 and 6401 results not from mere administrative or fiscal convenience, but from the fact that female line officers, because of restrictions on their participating in combat and most sea duty, do not have opportunities for professional service equal to those of male line officers, and Congress could rationally conclude that a longer period of tenure for women officers comported with the goal of providing women officers with “fair and equitable career advancement programs.” Frontiero v. Richardson, supra; Reed v. Reed, 404 U. S. 71, distinguished. Pp. 419 U. S. 505-508.

(b) In naval corps where male and female officers are similarly situated Congress, made no tenure distinctions, thus underscoring the rationality of the legislative classification. P. 419 U. S. 509.

(c) The challenged statutes further a flow of promotions commensurate with the Navy’s current needs, and serve to motivate qualified commissioned officers so to conduct themselves that they may realistically anticipate higher command levels. P. 419 U. S. 510. 360 F.Supp. 643, reversed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 419 U. S. 511. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting statement, post, p. 419 U. S. 521.


14 Comments

  1. Based on some of the comments I’ve read thus far, I also agree that this is an example of the court prioritizing equity versus equality. I court used mere rationality and the BFOQ test to justify this federal law due to the differences in opportunity between both men and women in the military. Despite this law being to the benefit of women and there being differences between both men and women in terms of combat potential, I would not support the court’s decision since I believe it is creating an unequal field of advancement between both genders. If a female is choosing to enter the military she should face similar expectations upon her as would be expected on a man.

  2. The appellee failed to be promoted for a second time which resulted in him being discharged. He argued that the 10 U.S. 6382(a) section was unconstitutional as it discriminated based on sex since women were entitled to 13 years of service before being discharged if they failed to receive a promotion too. The court decided that this section did not violate the Due Process Clause since this difference was to make up for the fact that women were not equal to men and in these circumstances, they did not have the same opportunities, prioritizing equity over equality.

  3. I really enjoyed the previous comment that Jeremy left about the difference between equality and equity. It brings up an interesting trend that I’ve noticed from the shift in the SCOTUS where prior to this, cases were being made about women being “too delicate” and decisions were made that upheld gender stereotypes, but now there is, not a rejection of these ideas, but almost a compensation for inherent discrimination and unequal opportunity.

  4. This case exemplifies equity versus equality. Equality would have been having the same standard regardless of gender, whereas equity recognizes that in certain cases there are unequal opportunities for service between men and women that would restrict advancement, and then seek a way to allow a more equal footing. The women, not being allowed into combat or for sea duty on most types of ships, inherently lacked the ability to gain experience that was given by those experiences, which would then go before the commissioning boards. While facially there is discrimination against men, it is in response to discrimination against women in an effort to equal it out.

  5. This case is one that makes us question whether there are any occasions when men and women being treated differently is reasonable as the court stated. They agree/acknowledge that there are inequities between men and women in the military, but I question if this will lead women not treated respectfully in the military in accordance with their capability and would place women in a vulnerable position. As stated by the Court, females do not have equivalent possibilities for professional service as male line officers. The argument subtly acknowledges women’s inadequacy in the professional environment at the time and defends an inherently discriminatory statute on those grounds.

  6. Schlesinger v. Ballard, 419 U.S. 498, was a case in which the United States Supreme Court affirmed a federal provision allowing female Naval officers to serve four years longer before being forced to retire than male Naval officers. The difference in statutory treatment of men and women officers did not violate the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause, according to the Court, because the legislative classification was perfectly reasonable.

  7. Just like in Rostker v Goldberg, we see the re-appearance of the combat restriction argument. Essentially, the court justifies gender distinction based on the male and female member of the military not being similarly situated. In this case, the court also justifies the gender distinction by saying that women don’t have the same opportunities of promotion that men do. The difference in service periods are different as a way to make up for that fact.

  8. Similar to Rostker v. Goldberg, the Supreme Court ruled that women have different circumstances in a military situation. In this case, the Court believed that the statute was acceptable as women had fewer opportunities to be promoted within the ranks of the military. It feels like this statute would be an early example of affirmative action.

  9. The Court’s decision to allow the unequal service times of female versus male Naval officers is not solving the issue at hand but trying to remedy the lack of opportunities for women by simply extending their service time instead of allowing them to be part of combat duty, which would eliminate the need for different service times based on gender. The Court acknowledged the unfair treatment of women and tried to compensate for it in different ways while upholding the law that differentiated between male and female Naval service time.

  10. This case upheld the notion that it would take a female naval officer longer to reach the same achievements as a male naval officer. In the language it states that women did not have the same opportunities as a man in this realm. The ruling was not decided due to a lack of opportunity for women but rather for the notion that women can not do things as well as a man in such a short time frame.

  11. Schlesinger v. Ballard (1975) Updated Feb 26, 2018, 9:54 AM
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    Schlesinger v. Ballard (1975)
    See Baer and Goldstein, pp. 69-72.

    Syllabus w/headnotes

    Appellee, a naval officer with more than nine years of active service, who failed for a second time to be selected for promotion and thus under 10 U.S.C. § 6382(a) was subject to mandatory discharge, brought this action claiming that application of that statute to him, when compared to 10 U.S.C. § 6401 (under which, had he been a woman officer, he would have been entitled to 13 years of commissioned service before a mandatory discharge for want of promotion), was an unconstitutional discrimination based on sex in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. A three-judge District Court, relying on Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U. S. 677, concluded that the challenged mandatory discharge provisions are supported solely by considerations of fiscal and administrative policy, and upheld appellee’s claim.

    Held: The challenged legislative classification is completely rational, and does not violate the Due Process Clause. Pp. 419 U. S. 505-510.

    (a) The different treatment of men and women naval officers under §§ 6382 and 6401 results not from mere administrative or fiscal convenience, but from the fact that female line officers, because of restrictions on their participating in combat and most sea duty, do not have opportunities for professional service equal to those of male line officers, and Congress could rationally conclude that a longer period of tenure for women officers comported with the goal of providing women officers with “fair and equitable career advancement programs.” Frontiero v. Richardson, supra; Reed v. Reed, 404 U. S. 71, distinguished. Pp. 419 U. S. 505-508.

    (b) In naval corps where male and female officers are similarly situated Congress, made no tenure distinctions, thus underscoring the rationality of the legislative classification. P. 419 U. S. 509.

    (c) The challenged statutes further a flow of promotions commensurate with the Navy’s current needs, and serve to motivate qualified commissioned officers so to conduct themselves that they may realistically anticipate higher command levels. P. 419 U. S. 510. 360 F.Supp. 643, reversed.

    STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 419 U. S. 511. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting statement, post, p. 419 U. S. 521.

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    Comments
    Kevin Lyles
    Kevin Lyles
    Mohammed Alzweiy
    Mohammed Alzweiy7:14 AM May 10
    Rather than fixing the corruption that exists within the system, they have simply adapted the circumstances. Instead of offering women the same opportunity they thought additional time was a fair fix.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Desiree Estrada
    Desiree Estrada6:01 AM Mar 13
    I am conflicted by the circumstances of this case considering woman are granted more time to be promoted can be seen as a leg p but also as sense to be-little women.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Catherine Ortega
    Catherine Ortega3:00 AM Mar 2
    From what I gathered, women were still unable to participate in active combat during that time. I guess that the ruling makes sense in that case because if the question of sex discrimination in combat isn’t addressed then laws surrounding it in the army/Navy/etc. would reflect that. Women are indeed disadvantaged in this case. Sucks for Ballard.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Grace Castillo Rojo Moreno
    Grace Castillo Rojo Moreno2:33 AM Mar 1
    It is funny how we tried to solve the difficulties that the system presented but never thought of solving the system itself. If you see that women do not have the same opportunity as men when they want to be part of the navy, it would be better if you change that instead of just not promoting them faster than men. Giving more opportunities to women is changing the system which is the important goal.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Nicole Solayman
    Nicole SolaymanFeb 25, 2021
    The state’s solution and court’s ruling suggest that giving women more time to gain a promotion is a poor solution to a poor system.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Daniela Guerrero Rodriguez
    Daniela Guerrero RodriguezFeb 25, 2021
    In this case, the court’s ruling stated that because women got fewer opportunities in the navy than men, it was only fair to give them a longer time frame to be promoted. This is an immediate solution to the problem, however, it doesn’t tackle the real problem which is the lack of opportunities for women and the unequal treatment that men and women receive.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Jacqueline Harmon
    Jacqueline HarmonFeb 25, 2021
    This case was an affirmative action case and gave women a step up in the military. I agree with the courts but I also could see this backfiring on women because some men could see this as not fair and show aggression towards women because of it.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Ariana Lopez
    Ariana LopezFeb 25, 2021
    I am really shocked that the court really believed that allowing women to serve was a step forward when they accompanied and acted in support of the discharge/promotion requirements for women vs the ones for men. The standard of what is permissible for women as opposed to what is permissible for men is not anywhere close. I also feel like the attitude behind this case and it’s ruling is meant to make it as though they are giving women so many opportunities and allowing them to do the most manly thing, which is serve, but it feels very backhanded.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Anastasia Pogrebchtchikov
    Anastasia PogrebchtchikovFeb 25, 2021
    This case is somewhat frustrating especially when it sees every other case is 1 step forward & 2 steps back. The court ruled this as constitutional simply because it allowed women to be in military and that was seen as enough. This reminds me of the popular cartoon that describes equality vs equity. These women are not getting the opportunity to expand their careers while men are.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Donny Situ
    Donny SituFeb 25, 2021
    I guess the question is whether an institution (in this case the Navy) should “overcompensate in favor of women on certain things because they are aware that women have fewer opportunities than men to advance in their careers. To me, it seems like a very short sighted solution. The military should do everything in its capabilities to give women the same standard of opportunities as men so that they shouldn’t have to create extra provisions to compensate for the Navy’s inherent issues of discrimination.
    Reply
    Kevin Lyles
    Kevin Lyles
    “overcompensate” or compensate
    Feb 25, 2021•Delete
    Comments above copied from original document
    Kevin Lyles
    Emma Floyd
    Emma FloydFeb 25, 2021
    This case is conflicting to me because section 6401 seems to me like it was created to help promote opportunities for women and level the playing field when, for so long, men had had an advantage. However, I also agree with Brennan in that cases regarding gender should be subjected to closer judicial scrutiny, in which case, no government interest justifies the gender-based classification.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Yoli Esparza
    Yoli EsparzaFeb 25, 2021
    I am very conflict with this case ruling, I understand that women have a harder time to advance in the military and therefore they were given more time to do so, I still think this was a form of shrinking women because of their gender. where they really at an advantage or was it made to seem that way.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Ana Al Saad
    Ana Al SaadFeb 24, 2021
    Like Kahn v. Shevin, the Court rules that a statute is constitutional because women face limited opportunities, so the statute aids them in those situations.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Tanmayi Kadamuddi
    Tanmayi KadamuddiFeb 24, 2021
    This case frankly makes me roll my eyes. Time and time again men will shout in rage over rules claiming them to be unfair to men, when in actuality, the real purpose of said rule was to actually make the playing field more equal because as it stood before, women were at an advantage.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Seamus McNamara
    Seamus McNamaraFeb 24, 2021
    This statue exists to support women entering and being promoting within the military and therefore is constitutional.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Haneen Abdelhafez
    Haneen AbdelhafezFeb 24, 2021
    After our discussion about Kahn v. Shevin on Tuesday, I agree with the Court’s ruling. But to go back to a question that repeatedly arrises in class, why do women continue to be held to different standards?
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Jeff Gemini
    Jeff GeminiFeb 24, 2021
    Well I agree they’re should be equal opportunity and there is for sure a history of sex based discrimination I think there is a better alternative than limiting officers by 9/13 years depending on their sex. I’m not sure what the better solution would be but I don’t believe it is that since time based restrictions are much more restrictive then other restrictions. Tina Tran is right it does feel like an affirmative action case.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Mayra Villa
    Mayra VillaFeb 24, 2021
    I’m kind of conflicted with the ruling of the case because although the Court knows that Navy female soldiers have limited opportunities to advance and can take advantage of certain programs while they’re there, then shouldn’t they do something about that? They acknowledge that fact which is why women are there longer than male soldiers.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Cassidy McLernon
    Cassidy McLernonFeb 24, 2021
    I’m honestly surprised that the Court didn’t rule in favor of Ballard because there is a trend of the Court ruling in favor of men who face discrimination. However, I do agree with the ruling. Wome would usually be passed over when it comes to promotions in the military, so they should receive more time to move up the ranks. I agree with the multiple people in the comments who said this is like affirmative action.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Denice Bernal
    Denice BernalFeb 24, 2021
    The court ruled that the Navy statue did not violate the 5th amendment due to the fact that the statue was made under legitimate provisions. There are still many factors to consider. Does more time in the army really allow women the opportunity to qualify for promotions considering those positions are limited in the first place? How long do those who serve in those positions serve for? Not to mention that there is no clear indication that these positions are limited to only women. If the goal is to reach equality in the navy I believe more can be done to legitimately level the “playing field”.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Tina Tran
    Tina TranFeb 24, 2021
    This seems like an affirmative action case, but I hope that this ruling doesn’t harm the way servicemen see servicewomen and alter their level of respect for them.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Arnold Brown
    Arnold BrownFeb 24, 2021
    The SC ruled that the statue was constitutional. Because women had fewer opportunities and faced more struggles while in the military, this statute was enacted to make up for that discrimination.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Ben Lee
    Ben LeeFeb 24, 2021
    The justification for the differing treatment seems to be rooted in advancing the opportunities of women rather than setting them to gender stereotypes.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Xiomara Martinez
    Xiomara MartinezFeb 23, 2021
    I think this ruling was fair. Women are given less opportunities and giving them longer years of duty to get a promotion than men makes up for that. Men are easily able to get these promotions than women.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Jocelyn Rodriguez
    Jocelyn RodriguezFeb 23, 2021
    This is similar to affirmative action, in the sense that they were aware of the advancement struggles women will face while in the military, thus allotted them a greater time frame in order to do so.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Brianna Moling
    Brianna MolingFeb 22, 2021
    In this case the Court ruled that the law allowing women more time for a promotion in the military than men was constitutional. I agree with the ruling and their reasoning that women have limited opportunities for professional development in the military. I think it is fair to give women more time since they are the clear minority in the military compared to men and therefore their opportunities may be more limited.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Jyah Vora
    Jyah VoraFeb 22, 2021
    I agree with the Court’s ruling and this reminds me of affirmative action. If there are limited opportunities for women in the military due to their inability to serve previously, then a remedy should be offered in place to compensate women for being turned down in the first place. I don’t see this as a special privelege to women, but rather a means of equity.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Malak Kanan
    Malak KananMay 7, 2020
    I understand that The Court argued that the law established a “rational relationship” in
    ensuring “fair and equitable career advancement programs” … meaning that since women got less opportunities in the navy than men, it was only fair to give them a longer time frame to be promoted, but this also means that the court knew that the navy gave women less opportunity. Instead of justifying long time frame to get promoted, why don’t they fix the discriminatory system and give women equal opportunity?
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userApr 24, 2020
    since it is harder for women to advance int he military it is only fair that they are given more time to do so. I am happy that the judges recognized this.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userApr 7, 2020
    It only makes sense to me to for women to have a longer time precisely due to the fact that they are unable to partake in certain actions that would otherwise accelerate their career in the military.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Alexis Rodriguez
    Alexis RodriguezApr 1, 2020
    This case makes me feel reluctant to agree with it’s ruling. At first I was glad they ruled against Robert. But it is also unsettling to realize the military was aware of the limitations placed on women’s opportunity to advance.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userMar 24, 2020
    This case is interesting because it brings up other potential constitutional issues based on the limitations put on women in the military. Perhaps if issues of inequality in combat training and deployment were addressed then the need for the extended tenure regulation would disappear. I would be interested to see how this case is cited in future cases involving women in the military.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Aysha Ahmed
    Aysha AhmedMar 1, 2020
    The court acknowledged the fact that females in the military had a significantly less chance to advance in their career but yet did not nothing to change that. The court found this ruling to be fair and equal but I wonder how is it fair to hold both genders to different standards.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Jessica Myles
    Jessica MylesFeb 29, 2020
    This case is one that makes us question whether there are some instances where men and women being treated differently is acceptable or as the court says “rational” . They acknowledge the fact that there are inequalities for women in the military compared to men, but I wonder if this will cause retaliation and resentment towards the women in the military. This might cause them to not be taken seriously.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Marissa Scavelli
    Marissa ScavelliFeb 27, 2020
    If you look at this case in a broader lens, it can be viewed a discrimation against female naval officers. Even though the females are entitled to more years of commissioned service before mandatory discharge, this law was put into place because, as the Court said, females do not have opportunities for professional service equal to those of male line officers. Therefore, the Court held that the statute was rational due to the goal of providing women officers with “fair and equitable career advancement programs.” The reasoning discreetly recognizes the inferiority of women in the professional world during this time and upholds an essentially unequal statute on those grounds.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Jose Perez
    Jose PerezFeb 27, 2020
    One of the reasons for there being a difference for women was, “because of restrictions on their participating in combat and most sea duty, do not have opportunities for professional service equal to those of male line officers”. I am not too sure what type of restrictions exist that would allow a male officer to perform better than a female officer. Are they talking about physical, mental or emotional capabilities? Maybe they believe there is a difference in the decision making process for each gender.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Abigail Zurita-Calvario
    Abigail Zurita-CalvarioFeb 27, 2020
    Team 8

    Schlesinger v. Ballard 1975
    Legal Citation: 419 us 498 (1975)
    Statement of Facts: Robert C. Ballard was a lieutenant for the United States Navy. He had been working under the administration for more than nine years. Yet, the intuition has placed a federal statute (10 U.S.C. §6382), that allowed for the removal of officers if they failed to be promoted in their second attempt. Consequently, Ballard was discharged from the his positions due to failing to be selected for a promotion. Ballard decided to bring his case to federal court claiming that his situation would have been handled differently if he were a woman. Ballard stated that under a section of the statute (10 U.S.C. §6401), women are entitled to at least 13 years of service before the mandatory discharge mandated by the statute (10 U.S.C. §6382). Therefore, Ballard claimed that the statute (10 U.S.C. §6382) was unconstitutional because it discriminated on the basis of sex, leading to the violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The District Court sided with Ballard by using Frontiero v. Richardson as precedent. The panel agreed that statute (10 U.S.C. §6401) was unconstitutional because it discriminates against men and in favor of women.

    Statement of Issues
    Is the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment violated by the statutes (10 U.S.C. §6401) and (10 U.S.C. §6382)?

    V. Decisions
    No.

    VI. Reasoning of the Court
    The Court argued that the purpose of the statute was to ensure that women were provided with ‘fair and equitable career advancement programs.” The Court acknowledged that women constantly faced obstacles due to their sex, therefore, they believed that these statutes prevented sex discrimination against women in the workforce, specifically in the Navy where women face greater disadvantages and are usually seen working in hospitals or transportation.
    VII. Opinion of the Court
    (5-4)
    i. Majority: Stewart, Burger, Blackmun, Powell and Rehnquist.
    ii. Dissent: Justice Brennan, Douglas, Marshall, White
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 27, 2020
    The reason why this case was challenged under the 5th amendment due process clause as opposed to the 14th amendment equal protection clause is because the 14th amendment is for states and is a restriction on state action. Since Schlesinger was the US secretary of Defense is NOT A STATE which is why this was challenged via the 5th amendment due process.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deidre Mensah
    Deidre MensahFeb 27, 2020
    TEAM 2:
    Schlesinger v Ballard:
    419 U.S. 498

    Facts: Robert Ballard, a naval officer (the appellee) who has over nine years of active service, failed to be selected for the second time for promotion. Under the federal law, he was subject to mandatory discharge because he was passed over twice for a promotion. This does not apply to female officers because were granted a minimum of 13 years of duty before they could be discharged, therefore Ballard stated that the statute was an unconstitutional discrimination based on sex in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Frontiero v Richardson was relied on by the three-judge District Court .

    Issue: Does the application of the federal statute violate the Due Process Clause of the the Fifth Amendment?

    Decision: No

    Reasoning: The goal of the statute is to protect women since women who will be excluded from combat duty, had fewer opportunities for advancement in the military. The court stated that “the challenged legislative classification is completely rational.” The law passed an intermediate scrutiny equal protection analysis.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Liliana Diaz
    Liliana DiazFeb 26, 2020
    The Court argued that the statue established a “rational relationship” in ensuring “fair and equitable career advancement programs” … meaning that since women got less opportunities in the navy than men, it was only fair to give them a longer time frame to be promoted.I’m not sure how to feel about this case because I am glad the court recognized that women had less opportunities, this made me think about what we talked about in class about how we should want gender equality not gender favoritism and I feel like this does more of a disservice to women than actually helps them.
    Reply
    Sylvia Waz
    Sylvia Waz
    I agree. I think that the law leads to more harm than good. I think if anything this would lead to service men taking service women less seriously since they get “more chances” in proving themselves. They may not see them as deserving and that encourages more unequal treatment in the military.
    Feb 26, 2020•Delete
    Comments above copied from original document
    Kevin Lyles
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 25, 2020
    The differential treatment was not due to fiscal or administrative convenience but due to the fact that females have less opportunity to act in service than males do. Therefore, they would need more time to ‘prove’ themselves or earn promotions. For example, restrictions on combat and sea duty impede their chance to showcase skills that would award them promotion. There is no restriction in naval corps, where male and female officers have similar situations. The law is constitutional and allows males and females realistic expectations. This ruling makes a lot of sense to me, given the circumstances. It perpetuates sexism by upholding restrictions and finding ways to reward women for working less, without choice.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userMar 3, 2019
    While yes its great the court acknowledged that women face have low opportunities for professional service equal to those of male line officers, , in sensei still find that instead of having the court saying ” men sorry you get 9 years and women get 13 since they can’t serve in combat ” why couldn’t Congress at the time allow women in combat and in effect make it equal for all genders to have the same time frame for promotion before job termination . This case to me bring up the debate of equality vs equity and I feel as if like said of previous students comments that this case is about affirmative action in the army.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Ines Josefina Castaneda
    Ines Josefina CastanedaFeb 27, 2019
    I was glad to see that the court acknowledged that women faced more difficulties. I think Schlesinger should of taken this another rote to have a chance to have a promotion and keep his naval job.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userMar 1, 2018
    This seems like an argument over affirmative action, which I completely support since women often face more obstacles than men; in this case women having limited participation in combat and sea duty, as described. Also, the comic actually made me laugh out loud.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 28, 2018
    I enjoyed reading the reasoning in this case. It is surprising to see the court acknowledge and try to address the disparities women face in their careers.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 28, 2018
    The court’s decision takes an important step in recognizing the fact that many women face stronger adversity when seeking opportunities.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 28, 2018
    The court’s reasoning behind their decision in that the statute served as evening the fairness of women’s and men’s careers as men have more opportunities for advancement reminds me of affirmative action policies. As women have less opportunity to be promoted, extending women officers’ service recognizes the inequality of opportunities afforded by gender and acts to balance it.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userApr 24, 2017
    I agree with the court’s decision as it acknowledges certain barriers women face to moving up in rank when in service because they had fewer opportunities for military advancements.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 15, 2017
    http://diversity.defense.gov/Portals/51/Documents/Resources/Commission/docs/Issue%20Papers/Paper%2045%20-%20Officer%20Promotion%20by%20Race%20Ethnicity%20and%20Gender.pdf

    While experience in combat is important in determining promotions, according to this study it appears as though minority women, minority men, and non-minority women are all trailing behind white males for promotions. Therefore the argument can be made that women do not, in fact, need the extra time to be considered equals because even with the extra time they are discriminated against.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 15, 2017
    Does 10 U.S.C. § 6401 violate the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause as unconstitutional sex discrimination?
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 24, 2016
    I think that this case is a little different from others in which work restrictions and/or exceptions were made for women based on their fragility or reliance on men. In this case, the navy was recognizing that it put women at a disadvantage in terms of opportunities for promotion, and therefore gives them more time to achieve promotion because there are fewer spots open to them. I do think that this statute evens the playing field in a sector where women have been discriminated against in terms of job opportunities since this country was founded. However, I think it would be better if gender-based restrictions for positions in the military were discarded.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 24, 2016
    I. Schlesinger v. Ballard, 419 U.S. 498 (1975)
    II. Facts: A naval officer was appealing a case in which a mandate stated that a Lt. in the Navy or a Cpt. in the Marine Corps who was unable to be selected on a second round of promotion was to be honorably discharged from his duties. While a female officer of the same ranking in either armed service group did not fall under the same mandate of the male officers. Women had up to thirteen (13) years to be promoted. Ballard who was appealing the case was discharged after 16 years of service, 7 as an enlisted soldier and 9 as an officer. With being discharged with 16 years that left him short 4 years in which at that time he would have been eligible to collect his pension for the rest of his lifetime.
    III. Issue: Is it unconstitutional based on sex discrimination of his equal protection of the 5th amendments due process clause?
    IV. Holding: No, it does not violate the due process of the 5th amendment.
    V. Opinion: Per Justice Stewart: the mandate does not violate the 5th amendment on the basis that it was not meant for administrative or fiscal policy, but rather that the opportunities for women to advance in the ranks of the hierarchy system of the Navy or Marine Corps were limited compared to male advancement. It was interpreted that Congress may have intended to give female officers the longer time period because they knew that chances were limited in comparison of men who had combat experience. This was based on having “fair and equitable career advancement programs” for male and female officers.
    VI. Dissent: Per Justice Brennan, stated that there was gender-discrimination present and the difference between promotion time of men and women had no real purpose. The dissenting justices believed that the case should have been looked at under close judicial scrutiny. In all the government had no compelling interest in the two distinctive tenures between male and female officers.
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    Maria E
    Maria EFeb 24, 2016
    So basically, why promote someone whose trying to do better for themselves when you can just discharge them ?
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 23, 2015
    This goes back to our discussion in class a couple of weeks ago on whether or not women are considered “special” and “need protection” under given circumstances. In this case woman are being negated advancement in naval services due to lack of opportunity available. Who’s to confidently say that women would no longer be needed once their 9 years are up? Although it seems reasonable holding for the given statute, it lacks legislative objective.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 18, 2015
    I think this case kind of fits into women are supposed to occupy the divine “offices of wife and mother” rhetoric once again. It’s not about men. It’s about women being accommodated because they are fragile, which can be a good thing sometimes.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 18, 2015
    I think the opinion is valid due to the fact that women were at a disadvantage in the work field. Because men have more jobs available to them, it makes sense why women were given a four year extension. If more opportunities for advancement were available to women, women would not need this “special privilege”.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 18, 2015
    If women are to be restricted on the types of job positions they occupy then it makes sense that they would get more time to advance. Perhaps the military should lift these restrictions for a little more balance and equal opportunity. -L. Trujillo
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 13, 2015
    I think that this case is difficult to fathom because it still uses a little of the “women need defending mentality” but, the truth is these are not jobs women traditionally occupy. So, to give them a few advantages does not hurt male chances very much.

    At best if he would have won they would have just shortened women’s tenured years to 10 instead of increasing men’s to 13.
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 20, 2014
    Is this decision even valid anymore? Aren’t women allowed to hold combat positions in the military now? Or they’re supposed to place them in combat positions by 2016.
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    Deleted userFeb 19, 2014
    I’m not sure I’m understanding this case. Male officers are required fewer years of service before being eligible for promotion than female officers are? And this is because there is more expected of men than of women?

    Nicole Melicor, Team 3
    Reply
    Deleted user
    Deleted user
    At the time, women in the Navy couldn’t serve in combat posts. They also couldn’t serve on any ship in the Navy that wasn’t a hospital ship or transport. That being the case, promotions were harder to come by for women than they were for men, since experience in combat or on those combat-ready ships helped get promotions. Recognizing that, Congress gave women more time to get a promotion before getting discharged. In an nutshell, women needed the extra time because their time was spent in less valuable capacities.

    Steve McGowan, T3
    Feb 19, 2014 (edited Feb 19, 2014)•Delete
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    Kevin Lyles
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 19, 2014
    “The severely divided Court analyzed the issues using rational relationship scrutiny, as opposed to the strict scrutiny criterion used by the lower court. The rational relationship standard is traditionally lenient and used by courts in equal protection cases involving nonsuspect classes. The strict scrutiny test requires a narrowly tailored compelling state interest showing that the governmental classification is necessary.”
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    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 19, 2014
    I want to know more about female naval officers’ “restrictions on participation in combat and most sea duty” and the consequent loss of opportunities accessible to female officers (compared to the male officers). Since this is used to explain the difference in time periods given to male and female naval officers to gain promotion, my question is:

    What are the restrictions on participation for female officers? And, Why is their an accommodation made (extended time period to be promoted) for a presumption of restrictions on participation in combat, based on gender?

    The difference in time periods is discriminatory to the male officers who are all expected to have less restrictions on participation just because of their gender and consequently many opportunities to be promoted. All naval officers (female and male) should be given the same time period (to try to be promoted) and more importantly there should be no presumptions of gender-based restrictions on participation in combat. Additionally, the extended time given to female naval officers seems like a way to avoid essential problems within the institution that restrict opportunities for women’s promotion.
    It makes me think of when a coach or teacher creates an environment where bullying occurs and is seen as inevitable, and then reaches out to the bullied children by giving them special treatment after class.

    Perhaps, I do not know enough about the Navy, and these restrictions on participation are justifiable, but I can not imagine how so…

    Asma, T3
    Reply
    Deleted user
    Deleted user
    I believe the restrictions on combat and sea duty roles is that they cannot participate at all. So if they cannot be in those roles they should have more time to move up through different channels. I buy it, I think…

    Kevin Sliwa Team 3

    also, http://news.yahoo.com/military-plans-put-women-most-combat-jobs-180430171.html
    Feb 19, 2014•Delete
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  12. Liliana Diaz
    TEAM 6
    CASE BRIEF
    Schlesinger v. Ballard
    419 U.S. 498 (1975)

    Facts: A federal statute, section 6382(a), established that a lieutenant in the United States Navy or a captain in the United States Marine Corps who was twice passed over for promotion should be discharged after the second failure to be promoted. However, section 6382(a) didn’t apply to women — so women got a minimum of 13 years of duty before they would be discharged. Robert Ballard, a naval officer, was “honorably discharged” for failing to be promoted twice in his 9 years of service. Thus, Ballard argued that this was sex based discrimination which violated the Due Process Clause of the 5th amendment. Ballard claimed if he had been a woman he would have gotten 13 years. A district court judge agreed with Ballard, but the case went up to the Supreme Court. Schlesinger is the United States Secretary of Defense.

    Issue: Does the statute that gives woman more time to gain a promotion in the miltary create sex- based discrimination and violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

    Holding: No (5-4).

    Reasoning: The Court argued that the law established a “rational relationship” in
    ensuring “fair and equitable career advancement programs” … meaning that since women got less opportunities in the navy than men, it was only fair to give them a longer time frame to be promoted

  13. Christopher Nevarez Azdar
    Schlesinger v. Ballard
    419 U.S. 498 (1975)
    Statement of Facts: Under a federal statute, section 6382(a), any lieutenant in the U.S. Navy or captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who was twice passed over for a promotion was to be honorably discharged in the year of the second failure. This section did not apply to women officers since they were granted a minimum of 13 years of duty before they could be forced out. Lieut. Robert Ballard was honorably discharged for being passed over twice, only after 9 years of service. He argued that if he had been a woman he would have been granted 4 extra years which in his case meant a lifetime pension, in return for an additional 7 years of enlistment. He was granted an injunction by a district court which relied on Frontiero and Reed.
    Statement of Issues:
    Does this statute creating a sex-based distinction violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution?
    Decision and Action:
    No. Reversed. Removed the Injunction Placed by District Court.
    Reasoning of the Court: Since the Navy has a pyramidal organization structure, fewer officers are needed at every ascending level. This statute allows for more competition for higher ranked officers and provides incentives for junior officers. This reason goes beyond simple administrative or fiscal policy considerations. This statute does not rely on “archaic and overbroad generalizations” such as the statutes presented in Frontiero and Reed. This statute instead relies on the demonstrable fact that men and women are not similarly situated with respect to professional service. Since women are restricted from duty on aircraft that are engaged in combat and vessels of the Navy that are not hospitals or transports, they are at a disadvantage when presenting qualifications for promotions. Therefore, a longer tenure helps to serve the purpose of providing women with “fair and equitable career advancement programs”. Furthermore, this statute does not affect males in other areas such as the Nurse Corps where males also receive a 13-year tenure. Both Congress and the President have exercised their very broad power to best to manage the armed forces and no violation to the Fifth Amendment exists.
    Voting Coalition: 5-4
    Majority: Justice Stewart, with Justice Burger, Justice Blackmun, Justice Powell and Justice Rehnquist.
    Dissent: Justice Brennan, with Justice Douglas and Justice Marshall. Justice White.
    Summary of Legal Principles: Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    Free Space:

  14. Natalie Merlo
    Group #1
    Facts
    Robert Ballard was a naval officer for nine years and failed to receive a promotion for a second
    time. A law required that Ballard was discharged after nine years of failing to receive a
    promotion, which he then challenged in a district court by claiming it violated the Due Process
    Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The district court ruled in favor of Ballard, but the case was
    brought
    Issue
    Does a statute allowing more time for woman to gain a promotion in the military create sex-
    based discrimination and violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?
    Holding
    The Court reversed the district court’s ruling and found that the law was constitutional.
    Reasoning
    The Court found that the law had a rational relationship towards its goals of providing women
    with “fair and equitable career advancement programs” in light of the fact that woman had
    limited opportunities for professional development in the military.

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