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United States Jaycees v. Bloomfield

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

September 26, 1980, Argued ; August 31, 1981, Decided

No. 79-1141

Opinion

 [*1380]  This is another litigative skirmish in the continuing legal battle that has been waged before various courts and administrative agencies in other jurisdictions over the lawfulness of the proviso in the bylaws of the United States Jaycees (Jaycees) that only males between the ages of 18 and 35 may be members. 1 See New York City Jaycees, Inc. v. United States Jaycees, Inc., 512 F.2d 856 (2d Cir. 1975); Junior Chamber of Commerce v. Missouri State Junior Chamber of Commerce, 508 F.2d 1031 (8th Cir. 1975); Junior Chamber of Commerce of Rochester v. United States Jaycees, 495 F.2d 883 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 1026, 42 L. Ed. 2d 301, 95 S. Ct. 505 (1974); United States Jaycees v. McClure, Minn., 305 N.W.2d 764 (1981); Fletcher v. United States Jaycees, [**2]  Nos. 78-BPA-0058-0081, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, decided Jan. 27, 1981.

Appellees filed an action in the trial court against Jaycees and one of its State Chapters, the District of Columbia Jaycees. The complaint alleged that this particular bylaw constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex and therefore violates the District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, D.C.Code 1978 Supp., § 6-2201 et seq. (the Act). 2 Appellees further alleged that Jaycees, by accepting their dues and admitting them to membership, although they are females, thereby contracted to accord them continuing rights of membership. 3 Therefore, when Jaycees moved to terminate the status of appellees as members upon the conclusion of a Pilot Project under which women were admitted as members [**3]  of selected state chapters on an experimental basis, Jaycees violated its contractual obligation to appellees.

Appellees moved for a preliminary injunction. The trial court, after taking testimony and hearing argument, enjoined the Jaycees and the District of Columbia Jaycees from "directly discriminating . . . in  [*1381]  their membership policy on the basis of sex" within the District of Columbia and "from taking any action [**4]  to remove the charter of the local association, the Downtown Jaycees, because it had taken appellees as members." 4

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434 A.2d 1379 *; 1981 D.C. App. LEXIS 356 **

UNITED STATES JAYCEES, APPELLANT, v. MARY BLOOMFIELD, et al., APPELLEES

Prior History:  [**1]   Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Hon. Norma Holloway Johnson, Trial Judge)

CORE TERMS

membership, place of public accommodation, bylaw, educational institution, League, trial court, sex, places, preliminary injunction, merits, associate member, baseball

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, General Overview, Remedies, Injunctions, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Business & Corporate Compliance, Industry Practices, Unfair Business Practices, Discrimination, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Rights, Public Facilities, Remedies, Education Law, Discrimination in Schools, Gender & Sex Discrimination, Activities & Services, Constitutional Law, Equal Protection, Gender & Sex, Academic Instruction, Contract Formation, Consideration, Promissory Estoppel