495 F.2d 883 (10th Cir. 1974), 73-1560, Junior Chamber of Commerce of Rochester, Inc., Rochester, New York v. United States Jaycees, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Docket Nº:73-1560.
Citation:495 F.2d 883
Party Name:JUNIOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF ROCHESTER, INC., ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. The UNITED STATES JAYCEES, TULSA, OKLAHOMA, et al., Defendants. Appellees.
Case Date:April 16, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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495 F.2d 883 (10th Cir. 1974)

JUNIOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF ROCHESTER, INC., ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

The UNITED STATES JAYCEES, TULSA, OKLAHOMA, et al., Defendants. Appellees.

No. 73-1560.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

April 16, 1974

Judith R. Cohn, Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, Philadelphia, Pa. (E. Gerald Riesenbach, Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, Philadelphia, Pa., on the brief), for plaintiffs-appellants Junior Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thomas S. Rittenhouse, Beverly Lynn Benson, Margaret M. Hipple and Roberta M. Schneider.

Emmelyn Logan-Baldwin, Rochester, N.Y., for plaintiffs-appellants Junior Chamber of Commerce of Rochester, Inc., Janis Gaines, Jane Selman, Charles Wetmore, James T. Bruen, David Heiligman, Thomas Banaszewski and Sydnee Schwartz.

Debra A. Millenson, Washington, D.C., for plaintiff-appellant Joann Clevenger.

Josephine L. Citrin, Portland, Maine, for appellant Joan H. Slyne.

James E. Hautzinger and S. Chandler Visher, Dawson, Nagel, Sherman & Howard, Denver, Colo., local counsel to all plaintiffs-appellants.

Robert J. Corber, Washington, D.C. (Gary D. Taylor, Denver, Colo., and Ronald S. Cooper and Kenneth I. Jonson II, Washington, D.C., of counsel, on the brief), for private defendants-appellees.

Ann Belanger, Atty., Tax Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C. (Scott P. Crampton, Asst. Atty. Gen., Meyer Rothwacks and Jonathan S. Cohen, Attys., Tax Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., and Nathan G. Graham, U.S. Atty., of counsel, on the brief), for federal defendants-appellees.

Before BREITENSTEIN, McWILLIAMS and DOYLE, Circuit Judges.

WILLIAM E. DOYLE, Circuit Judge.

This is a sex discrimination case. Appellants seek review of a judgment of dismissal of the United States District Court for the Northern District

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of Oklahoma. The claim of the appellants in the District Court was that the United States Jaycees unconstitutionally excluded the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Rochester, New York and the individual appellants from affiliation and membership in the United States Jaycees. Similar claims are asserted by the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia and of New Orleans, Louisiana, and individual members of those organizations. Appellants also asserted in District Court that certain named federal officers impermissibly support the United States Jaycees and various state and local Jaycee chapters by allowing them tax exemptions and by utilizing them to implement federal grants and programs.

The controversy was the result of the United States Jaycees' bylaws limiting membership to males. On this account the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Rochester was expelled from the United States Jaycees because it had chosen to admit women as members. Individual members of the Rochester Jaycees were then prevented from becoming affiliated with the United States Jaycees and thereby lost certain opportunities to take part in the charitable work of the United States Jaycees, part of which involved the transmission of federal funds to the needy. Appellants allege that the United States Jaycees are violating the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, by prohibiting women from becoming members of the United States Jaycees and any state or local Jaycees organization. 1

Various federal statutes, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, are relied on to gain admittance to federal court for the purpose of asserting the alleged violation. According to the allegations of the amended complaint, the Jaycees and various state chapters thereof received substantial tax benefits under § 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Act and also various federal grants and contracts from OEO and other departments of the United States Government. It is alleged that the various Jaycee organizations use federal funds to sponsor HEW programs, including construction of housing projects and assistance to underprivileged children.

From all of this, it is the position of plaintiffs that the United States Jaycees is in practical effect an arm of the government and that therefore when it discriminates in its membership policies it is acting officially. On this basis appellants claim that their rights are subject to the protection of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and are violated by the Jaycees' exclusionary membership policies.

The plaintiffs do not contend that they have any direct pecuniary interest in the funds which have been mentioned. An evidentiary hearing held by the District Court revealed that the United States Jaycees administer substantial grants on behalf of the government. A memorandum admitted into evidence showed that government funds distributed by the United States Jaycees amounted to approximately $985, 000. However, the rights which the plaintiffs say were invaded were not monetary. Rather, they contend that they were deprived of leadership training and administrative experience.

The District Court ruled that the complaint failed to state a claim because the federal question was insubstantial. The court there noted that the plaintiffs had

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failed to allege any direct relationship between the discrimination against the plaintiffs and the distribution of government funds.

In support of their contentions that the discrimination is of constitutional dimension, the plaintiffs cite cases recognizing the invalidity of discrimination both in educational areas and in employment. See Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677, 93 S.Ct. 1764, 36 L.Ed.2d 583 (1973). In Frontiero there was a federal statute which differentiated between housing and medical benefits available to married male and female members of the armed forces. The Supreme Court condemned this as unconstitutional, citing Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71, 92 S.Ct. 251, 30 L.Ed.2d 225 (1971). Four members of the court held that classifications based upon sex were to be considered suspect. This shifted...

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