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Flashcards in Equal Protection Deck (10):

Equal Protection (EP) Clause Rule

The 14th Amendment provides that states shall not deny to any person the equal protection of the laws. The 5th Amendment provides that the federal govt shall not deny equal protection. Equal protection prohibits the govt from treating similarly situated people differently. When the govt discriminates we look at the classification to determine what standard of review is appropriate.


Suspect Classifications-Strict Scrutiny

A classification will get strict scrutiny (SS) only if it burdens:
1. a fundamental right or
2. a suspect class.


Fundamental Rights (EP)

Privacy rights
right to vote
1st amendment rights
right to travel
Right to access to courts


Suspect Classifications-NORA

National Origin

However, when fed govt discriminates against immigrants, only rational basis is required. When a state/local govt discriminates, strict scrutiny is required except only rational basis is needed if the state/local govt exclude aliens from employment related to the process of democratic self government.


3 Scrutiny Levels

1. Strict Scrutiny requires the government to prove that the classification is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest.
2. Intermediate scrutiny requires the government to prove that the classification is substantially related to achieve an important government interest.
3. Rational basis (low-level scrutiny) requires the classification is rationally related to a legitimate government interest. The burden of proof is on the challenger of the classification.


Quasi Suspect Classifications-Intermediate Scrutiny

Quasi Suspect classifications include classifications based on gender and all classifications based on legitimacy.


Rational Basis Review

All other classifications get rational basis review. Review applies to classifications based on age, disability, economic status, and any other classification not subject to heightened scrutiny. (Sex Orientation fits here-ish)


Facial Discriminatory (EP)

If a law includes a classification on its face, then teh court will merely apply the appropriate standard of review for that classification


Discriminatory Application (EP)

If a law that is neutral on its face is applied w/a discriminatory purpose the law will be invalidated.


Discriminatory Motive (EP)

If an actin or law is neutral on its face and in its application, but has a disproportionate impact on a particular class of persons, it will be found to involve a classification only if a court finds that the law-making body enacted the law for a discriminatory purpose.