Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Kahn v. Shevin
Kahn (P) is a widower in Florida, which has a property tax exemption for widows. The application of the statute to widowers was denied by the tax assessor’s office. Kahn (P) filed a case against Shevin (D) who is the tax assessor, asking the court to declare the Florida judgment a violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees the same protections under law to all people in like circumstances. The ground of his objection was the word “widow” in the tax classification, which is purely gender-based. The Florida Supreme Court declared the classification to be a valid one insomuch as the purpose of the statute under which the classification came was to reduce the gulf between a man and a woman in terms of their economic capabilities.
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