Constitutional Places: Reed v. Reed

June 11th, 2013

sallyreedThe home of Sally Reed, the eponymous plaintiff of Reed v. Reed, in Boise, Idaho, bears this plaque.

It reads, in part:

Sally Reed lived here. Idaho and the Nation owes a lot to Sally Reed, who, though an unlikely hero, blazed a trail nationally for women’s rights with a 1971 U.S. Supreme Court victory. Sally lived in a two-story wood frame home from 1935 until 1999. After her divorce in 1958, from Cecil R. Reed, Sally made a modest living for herself and her son Richard, by caring for sick and disabled veterans in her own home. Skip’s death in 1967 led to competing petitions’ to administer his small estate. Idaho law at the time said in such cases “the male must be preferred over the female.”

Though she never sought the spotlight and didn’t realize the widespread significance of what she was doing, Sally’s basic instincts for right and wrong moved her to challenge this discriminatory law all the way to the U.S> Supreme Court, with the help of .  . . now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then a Rutgers University Law Professor and American Civil Liberties Union Volunteer.

The location at 1682 S Vista Ave in Boise is now an Angler shop.

Courtesy of Nick Korte.