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Flashcards in Equality and the Constitution Deck (52):
1

Brown v. Board of Education

Brown tells us that established social norms are no longer the standard of reasonableness.

Can no longer have de jure segregation

2

Rational Basis Review

1. The Classification or means used by the law. Is this classification suspect? (a racial one)

2. Is the purpose or end legitimate or permissible?

3. What is the fit between the means used and the purpose stated?

3

Is color-blindness the rule after Brown v. Board?

No. There might be segregation that does not stigmatize (Prison)

4

New York Transit Authority v. Beazer
(Rule)

State legislation does not violate the Equal Protection Clause merely because the classifications that it makes are imperfect.

5

New York Transit Authority v. Beazer
(Facts)

A New York City Transit Authority rule barred the employment of persons who use narcotics. The Transit Authority applied the rule to all persons taking methadone – a drug widely used in the treatment of heroine addiction.

6

U.S. Department of Agriculture v. Moreno
(Facts)

An amendment to the Food Stamp Act prevented households made up of unrelated individuals from participating in the program. A class action suit was brought, and the District Court found a Due Process violation.

7

U.S. Department of Agriculture v. Moreno
(Rule)

Discrimination against a politically unpopular group is not a constitutionally permissible government interest. This will fail the rational basis test.

8

City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center
(Facts)

The City of Cleburne denied a special use permit to the Cleburne Living Center, for the establishment of a group home for the mentally retarded in the community.

9

City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center
(Rule)

Legislation that distinguishes between the mentally retarded and others must be rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose.

10

Romer v. Evans
(Facts)

Colorado voters adopted Amendment two to their State Constitution, precluding the government from adopting measures that would protect homosexuals from discrimination.

11

Romer v. Evans
(Rule)

A bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.

12

Is a legislature required to show a clear empirical relationship between a means and an end?

No

- Minnesota v. Clover Leaf Creamery Co.

13

What if the means undermine the end?

The court says that it will presume the stated purpose is the real purpose.

It will even imagine a rational relationship if the legislature does not include one.

14

Railway Express Agency v. New York
(Facts)

The Appellant argued that a statute prohibiting advertising on vehicles, except for notices upon business delivery vehicles engaged in the regular work of the owner, are unconstitutional for violating the Equal Protection Clause.

15

Railway Express Agency v. New York
(Rule)

It is no requirement of equal protection that all evils of the same genus be eradicated or none at all.

16

Williamson v. Lee Optical
(Facts)

An Oklahoma law prohibited any person that is not a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist from fitting lenses to a face or to duplicate or replace into frames lenses or other optical appliances.

17

Williamson v. Lee Optical
(Rule)

In the absence of a rationale the Court imagines one as long as there is a conceivable relationship.

18

Strauder v. West Virginia
(Facts)

A West Virginia statute limited jury service to white men. Strauder, a black man, was convicted of murder by a trial court in West Virginia.

19

Strauder v. West Virginia
(Rule)

The law violated the Equal Protection Clause, because it implied that blacks were unfit to serve on juries.

20

Korematsu v. United States
(Facts)

During World War II, a military commander ordered all persons of Japanese descent to evacuate the West Coast. Korematsu, a United States citizen of Japanese descent, was convicted for failing to comply with the order.

21

Korematsu v. United States
(Rule)

Legal restrictions that curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are subject to the most rigid scrutiny. But, pressing public necessity may sometimes justify such restrictions.

The fit between the means and the end were held to be constitutional because there was no way to distinguish between the citizens of japanese descent that are loyal and those that are disloyal.

22

Loving v. Virginia
(Facts)

The state of Virginia enacted laws making it a felony for a white person to intermarry with a black person or the reverse.

23

Loving v. Virginia
(Rule) (Strict Scrutiny)

How to apply Strict Scrutiny:
1. Is it racial?
2. If yes, is the purpose compelling?
3. if yes, then look to the fit to determine if it is necessary.

24

Is it possible for a law that is facially neutral count as racial discrimination?

Yes, but there must be a showing of a racially discriminatory purpose.

25

Washington v. Davis
(Facts)

A higher percentage of black applicants than white applicants failed a qualifying test administered by the District of Columbia Police Department. Some of the unsuccessful black applicants claimed these effects constituted unconstitutional discrimination against them.

26

Washington v. Davis
(Rule)

A rule that is neutral on its face and rationally related to a legitimate state interest is constitutional even though it may impact a race disproportionately.

27

How do we know if a law is racially discriminatory?

Whether or not it is racially discriminatory must be based on a totality of the circumstances.

28

Why should we use strict scrutiny?

1. Fear of a slippery slope

2. Were the court to agree that any law with a racially disproportionate impact was subject to strict scrutiny many other laws would be subject

29

How is this purpose to be inferred?

By a totality of the facts.

30

How common must the purpose be in the minds of the legislators?

Must be more than a mere awareness. (Kemp)

31

McClesky v. Kemp
(Facts)

McCleskey was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer. He challenged his sentence on the ground that it was imposed because he was black. He provided statistical evidence that blacks disproportionately received death sentences when the murder victim was white.

32

McClesky v. Kemp
(Rule)

A defendant must prove the presence of racial discrimination in his own case.

33

Adarand Constructors v. Pena
(Facts)

Adarand Constructors, a low-bidding subcontractor denied a contract on a federal highway project, sued the Secretary of Transportation, alleging that the federal governments incentives to hire minority subcontractors denied him equal protection of the laws.

34

Adarand Constructors v. Pena
(Rule)

Federal racial classifications must serve a compelling governmental interest and must be narrowly tailored to further that interest. (Survive Strict Scrutiny)

35

Grutter v. Bollinger
(Facts)

A white law school applicant challenges a law school’s use of race as a factor in the admissions process.

36

Grutter v. Bollinger
(Rule)

Schools may consider race as a part of the admissions process as long as it is only one factor in an individualized process.

37

What racial diversity in law school accomplishes (and thus why this is a compelling interest)

1. Promotes cross-racial understanding
2. Helps to break down racial stereotypes
3. Law schools create leaders
4. Diversity keeps the leaders legitimate
5. It is limited in time

38

How we know that it was “narrowly tailored”

1. There was no quota system
2. They look at each applicant individually and holistically, and race is just a factor to consider
3. The percentages of minority students varied from year to year
4. Race-neutral alternatives are unworkable (they would not achieve the desired goal of racial diversity)

39

Gratz v. Bollinger
(Facts)

To help with admission decisions, the University of Michigan implements a point system. This point system is out of 100 points. A student that is from an underrepresented group automatically receives 20 points towards his or her over all score.

40

Gratz v. Bollinger
(Rule)

Race may be considered in an individual assessment, but not as a sole or contributing factor for admission.

41

Why it was not "narrowly tailored"

1. Does not allow individualized holistic consideration
2. Operates more like a quota system
3. That is not a system that allows you to get beyond your race
4. It is not just a plus factor, it is the most important factor

42

Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
(Issue)

Whether a public school may choose to classify students by race and rely upon that classification in making school assignments.

43

Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
(Rule)

School plans that use race alone as a qualifying criterion for school assignments are unconstitutional. In order for a state actor to engage in discriminatory actions it must do so in a way that is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest.

44

The two main interests recognized by the Court that are sufficient to classify based on race are:

1. To remedy past intentional discrimination; and
2. to achieve exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas and viewpoints.

45

Craig v. Boren
(Facts)

An Oklahoma statute prohibited the sale of “non-intoxicating” 3.2 percent alcoholic beer to males under the age of twenty-one, but permitted the sale of such beer to females over the age of eighteen.

46

Craig v. Boren
(Rule)

Gender-based classifications must satisfy intermediate level review requirements to pass constitutional muster.

47

Intermediate Level Review:

In order to overcome the intermediate scrutiny test, it must be shown that the law or policy being challenged furthers an important government interest in a way that is substantially related to that interest.

48

United States v. Virginia
(Facts)

Virginia Military Institute (VMI) was the only single-sexed school in Virginia. VMI used a highly adversarial method to train (male) leaders of the future. There was no equal educational opportunity to that of VMI in the State for women.

49

United States v. Virginia
(Rule)

Generalizations about the way women are or what is appropriate for them will no longer serve to justify denying opportunity to those whose talents and capabilities make them exceptions to the average description

50

Why didn’t the court adopt a higher level of review for gays and lesbians in Romer?

1. Gays and lesbos are politically powerful (unlike women and blacks)
2. Sexual orientation is not necessarily visible
3. Debate over whether it is immutable
4. Debate over whether sexual orientation is as relevant as gender or race

51

Why didn’t the court adopt a higher level of review for the mentally handicapped in Cleburne?

1. The class is way too diverse

2. Legislators might become less responsive to the needs of the group if they held it to a more strict level of review

52

How do we know when there is a bare desire to harm?

1. When there is an unusual deviation from past practices
2. It can be indicated where there is an unusual breadth in the law (ex. DOMA affects many areas of the law and is very broad)