Law: Rotary Action

Like many other private men's organizations, the nearly 20,000 worldwide chapters of the Rotary International are not all that private. That was one reason why last week the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the use of a state antidiscrimination law to bar Rotary International from ousting a California chapter that had admitted women. Noting the clubs' sizable membership, turnover rate and public activities, Justice Lewis Powell concluded that "the relationship among Rotary Club members is not the kind of intimate or private relation that warrants constitutional protection." About 30 states have laws similar to California's. The Justices said other organizations will...

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