Rappaport v. Katz
380 F.Supp. 808 (S.D. NY 1974)

Plaintiffs were two couples who did not agree with the city’s restrictions on marriage at the clerk’s office (brides must wear dresses, and one or two rings must be exchanged).

The threshold question here presented and decided is not the merit of the clothes guideline, but whether the federal courts should supervise marriage forms and procedures in City Clerk’s offices.



  • Court basically says we don’t have time for this – go to City Council. Not a case for federal judges.
  • A line had to be drawn somewhere.

Rule: Federal courts should not get involved in supervising marriage forms and procedures in city clerk’s offices, which are an area fundamentally of state concern.