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Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609 (1984),[1] was an opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States overturning the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit's application of a Minnesota antidiscrimination law. The Eighth Circuit had concluded that, by requiring the United States Jaycees to admit women as full voting members, the Minnesota Human Rights Act violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the organization's members.[2]

Roberts v. United States Jaycees
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued April 18, 1984
Decided July 3, 1984
Full case nameKathryn R. Roberts, Acting Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, et al. v. United States Jaycees.
Citations468 U.S. 609 (more)
104 S. Ct. 3244; 82 L. Ed. 2d 462; 1984 U.S. LEXIS 146
Case history
PriorUnited States Jaycees v. McClure, 709 F.2d 1560 (8th Cir. 1983), reversed and remanded
Minnesota's state antidiscrimination law prohibiting a private organization from excluding a person from membership based on sex is constitutional, because the state had a compelling interest in prohibiting discrimination which outweighed the First Amendment right of freedom of association.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell Jr. · William Rehnquist
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Case opinions
MajorityBrennan, joined by White, Marshall, Powell, Stevens; O'Connor (parts I and III)
ConcurrenceRehnquist (in judgment)
Burger and Blackmun took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amends. I, XIV

Majority opinionEdit

In an opinion authored by Justice Brennan, the Court held:

  • Application of the Minnesota Human Rights Act to compel the Jaycees to accept women as regular members did not abridge either male members' freedom of intimate association or their freedom of expressive association.
  • The Act was not unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. Several features of the Jaycees, including its large size, unselective membership, and purpose, placed it outside the sphere of relationships protected by the First Amendment.[3] The Court ruled that the State's compelling interest in combating gender discrimination justified the law's impact on the Jaycees' First Amendment rights.[4]

Justice O'Connor wrote an opinion concurring with parts I and III of the Court's opinion and concurring in the judgment.[5]

Justice Rehnquist concurred in the judgment without joining either opinion. Justices Burger and Blackmun took no part in deciding the case.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609 (1984).
  2. ^ United States Jaycees v. McClure, 709 F.2d 1560 (8th Cir. 1983).
  3. ^ 468 U.S. at 620-21.
  4. ^ 468 U.S. at 626.
  5. ^ 468 U.S. at 631.
  6. ^ 468 U.S. at 611.

External linksEdit