POSC 130g 3-24-09

POSC 130g 3-24-09 - POSC 130g 3/24/09 Discrimination:...

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POSC 130g 3/24/09 Discrimination: Sexual Orientation Steffan v. Perry  (1994) o Steffan was at the Naval Academy and was forced to resign 6 weeks  before graduation because he acknowledged he was gay, in violation of  the Clinton Administration’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” o Steffan filed suit challenging the policy as a violation of Equal Protection o USSC applied Rational Basis Theory to analyze the issue and found that  the governments justification was rationally related to a legitimate  government interest, i.e. the disruption of military discipline Interesting     : Look at what the court did not do – elevate the level of  scrutiny analysis o CCV Doctrinal Constraint The court did not extend elevated analysis (intermediate or CSI) to  discrimination based on sexual orientation Internal Institutional Constraint The USSC still composed of conservative majority External Institutional Constraint Clinton administration supported the policy o DCV Cultural Freedom Political elites allowed gays to stay in military Possible Shift by USSC
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Romer v. Evans  (1996) o Colorado passed an initiative (Amendment 2) that amended the Colorado  Constitution to remove all protections in existing statutes based on sexual  orientation o A lower state court enjoined the enforcement of the law, and the Colorado  Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling o USSC struck down the Amendment 2 as violating Equal Protection  Doctrine Problem What Level of Scrutiny?: rational basis, compelling state interests, 
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POSC 130g 3-24-09 - POSC 130g 3/24/09 Discrimination:...

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