Class Notes - Con Law II Class Notes Tuesday 15 January...

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Con Law II Class Notes Tuesday – 15 January 2008 I. First Day a. 3 major categories this semester i. Equal Protection ii. 1 st Am iii. Fundamental Rights b. We may have quizzes c. KNOW CASES II. Rational Basis a. A law meets RB review (RBR) if it is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose b. Two questions to examine a law under RBR i. Does law have a legitimate purpose? ii. Is the law rationally related to achieving it? c. Does the law have a legitimate purpose? i. What constitutes a legitimate purpose? ii. Must it be the actual purpose behind the law, or any conceivable purpose? iii. Legitimate purpose if advances traditional “police” purpose: protecting safety, public health or public morals d. Romer v. Evans – p. 625 i. Law saying homosexuals can’t raise discrimination suits in CO ii. But the law doesn’t differentiate btw homosexuals who act on their urges and completely celibate homosexuals iii. The second type must be protected, b/c technically engaging in homosexual acts could be made a felony by state law iv. So J. Scalia’s dissent is flawed in its logic v. Rare case where SC finds no rational basis for the law e. US RR Retirement Board v. Fritz – p. 630 i. Concerned about bankruptcy of RR companies ii. CS restructures benefit groups iii. ROL: Under RBR, actual purpose of a law is irrelevant as long as it can figure out any conceivable purpose for the law iv. Works b/c different legislators may vote for a law for widely different reasons f. Railway Express Agency v. NY – p. 634 i. Advertisements, etc. g. NYC Transit Auth v. Beazer – p. 637 i. NYCTA discriminating against methadone users Thursday – 17 January 2008 Sick – skipped class Tuesday – 22 January 2008 I. Plessy v. Ferguson a. Analysis of the case is inconsistent w/its core premise b. Premise – we can’t make people socialize c. Analysis – we will require people to be separate d. These are inconsistent – gov has no place in social issues e. Not only did they hold separate but equal was OK, they also held there was no harm from separate but equal
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II. Brown v. Board of Education a. Changed holding of Plessy – said it hurts minorities “hearts and minds” b. Analysis is troubling for invalidating other segregation stuff – like water fountains… how does “kids feeling inferior at school” relate to separate water fountains? c. How do we determine the meaning of the 14 th Am? i. We don’t – we look at the evolution of school and society, etc. III. Facially neutral laws w/a Discriminatory Impact or With Discriminatory Administration a. The Req for Proof of a Discriminatory Purpose i. Some laws that are facially race neutral are administered in a way that discriminates against minorities or has a disproportionate impact against them.
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