Amicus Brief Filed in U.S. Supreme Court on Economic Security of Older Women

On November 6, CWLC was one of six organizations who filed a joint amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Lazar v. Kroncke. The case involves the constitutionality of retroactively applying a state law automatically revoking a decedent’s designation of a former spouse as a beneficiary of assets such as an IRA or life insurance. The brief argues that these laws statutorily mandate a disadvantage that affects millions of American women, who may automatically lose their status as beneficiaries of their former husbands’ retirement accounts and life insurance policies, despite the wishes of the deceased.

Because women face disproportionate economic barriers throughout their lives, including pregnancy discrimination, the gender pay gap, child care expenses and other caregiving duties, they are substantially more likely to live in poverty later in life. Indeed, 73% more women than men over 65 live in poverty. More than 20% of divorced women live in poverty, with some estimates as high as 37%.

As the amicus brief argues, laws such as these unfairly and unnecessarily put women at an economic disadvantage. To read the full brief before the U.S. Supreme Court, click here.