VIII. EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE (1st thing to look for is what is the basis…
VIII. EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE
1st thing to look for is what is the basis of the classification?
Race /National Orgin
Strict Scrutiny if discrimination based on race, national origin and sometimes aliens. In order to uphold the law, the gov must show a compelling gov interest that can't be achieved through any other less discriminatory means. Gov has BOP almost always fatal.
Intermediate Scrutiny: Discrimination based on gender and non marital children. In order to uphold the law the gov must show that the law is substantially related to an important gov interest. Gov has BOP
*Facial or in effect. If it fails either then you still end up in rational basis land.
All other classifications: Rational basis (age, disability, pregnant). Law will be upheld if it is rationally related to a legitiamate gov purpose. Challenger has BOP and almost always law survives.
How do they determine classifications?
Groups that have limited ability to protect themselves through the political process (discrete and insular minorities Carolene products)
History of discrimination against a group (does reg reflect prejudice or real gov purpose?)
Classifications based on immutable characteristics (person didn't chose unfair to treat differently)
Framwork: What is the classification, What is the right level of scrutiny, does the gov action meet that level of scrutiny?
Everything else (Age, disability)
Strict Scrutiny bc they raise special fears about icidious purpose and sterotyping
2 ways to show classification
Classification exists on face of the law
Race specific classifications that burden both whites and minorities
Loving v. VA- Ct strikes down VA statute that prohibits marriage between people of different races. Racial classification was designed to maintain white supremacy which is not a legit or compelling gov purpose
Palmore v. Sidoti- Ct holds mother can't be divested of custody of child bc she moved in with a man of another race. State argued it was necessary bc of the social stigma that the child would have face. Ct held Con can't control such prejudices but neither can it tolerate them or give them effect
Racial segregation laws
Ct. hold that sep schools can't be equal and that to sep children from others based on race generates a feeling of inferiority
Johnson v. Ca- Ct says that prison policy of racially segregating prisoners in double cells for up to 60 days as they enter new correctional facility to prevent gang violence deserves ss. Allowing racial disc in prisons would undermine efforts to eradicate racial dis in crime just.
Plessy v. Ferguson Ct upheld La law that required segregation on railroad cars scything that laws requiring sep of races don't imply inferiority of any race. Sep but equal doctrine comes from
Race specific classification that discriminates against racial minorities
Korematsu v. US- Ct upheld the constitutionality of Japanese internment camps during WWII; only case where racial classification burdening a minority was upheld under EPC
Classification exists by discriminatory effect/impact: P must prove that the law has both discrim impact and discrim purpose in order to prove that there is a racial classification and get ss.
McCleskey v. Kemp- Challenge to GA capital punishment system struck down. State law didn't show discrim purpose
Palmer v. Thompson- Discrim purpose but no discrim effect. MS law required all public pools to close rather to integrate them. Ct upheld law findihgin there is no right to pool access and since pools are closed to everyone not just racial minority no discrim effect. Discrim purpose not enough.
Washington v. Davis- Ct holds that test for becoming police officer was not racial class even though disproportionate numbers of black pd fail since no discrim purpose.
How to prove discrim purpose? Proof that the gov desired to discriminate is required. Not enough to prove that the gov took an action merely w/knowledge that it would have discrim consequences.
Laws benefitting minorities
Richmond v. JA Croson- Law benefiting racial minorities gets SS analysis. Remedying past discrimination is a legit public purpose but there must be evidence that the law is tailored to the local discrimination it seeks to rectify
Affirmative action in higher education
To satisfy the lease restrictive means requirement under SS a race conscious admissions program can't use a quota system. Race can only be considered as a plus a holistic evaultioan where race is one part of a total set of factors permissible. All race conscious admissions programs must have a logical end point and be limited in time.