100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.
“Physical Standards for Prison Guards are Irrelevant”
Dothard v. Rawlinson
33 U.S. 321 (1977)
Dianne Kimberly Rawlinson (1953-), a correctional psychology student, was turned down for a guard job by the Alabama prison system in 1974 because she did not meet its minimum height and weight requirements. She challenged that regulation as well as another prohibiting women from guarding men in maximum-security prisons on the ground that both regulations discriminated against women.
Rawlinson hired Pamela Horowitz—the lawyer who eventually took her case to the Supreme Court—in a beauty salon. In fact, Rawlinson was shampooing Horowitz's hair. Like many of the salon's clients, Horowitz worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in downtown Montgomery. One day she asked Rawlinson why someone with her obvious intelligence was ...