Final Skinny - EQUAL PROTECTION Rational Basis: the...

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EQUAL PROTECTION Rational Basis : the government must have a legitimate governmental purpose that is logically related to the end it is attempting to achieve. The court will generally accept any conceivable legitimate purpose as sufficient, even if it is not the stated actual purpose of the government NY Transit Authority v. Beazer , US Department of Agriculture v. Moreno, City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Williams v. Lee Optical, Romer v. Evans, Hunter v. Erikson, Metro Life Insurance v. Ward, Minnesota v. Clover Leaf Creamery Co.,Railway Express Agency v. NY Disparate Impact : To establish that a law has a DI, the P must prove that the law’s practical effect is to burden on group of persons more heavily than it does others. Insidious discrimination may be inferred from the facts of the case. Apply the Arlington Heights: Balancing test: o The impact of the official action; This factor includes analyzing statistics to determine if the statute has created disadvantages for a suspect class. ( McKlesky v. Kemp ) o Reasons for enacting the rule other than race ; o The administrative history regarding the rule : The court is basically looking at the process the government took in enacting the statute including the government’s motives. Occasionally, the court will find a “smoking gun” or, in other words, a statement by someone involved in creating the statute plainly indicating that the intention of the law is to disadvantage the suspect class. In examining the legislative and administrative history, contemporary statements by members of the decision-making body, minutes of meetings and reports are all highly relevant. o The historical background of the particular plaintiff and of society ( Rogers v. Lodge ); and o Any procedural departures from the norm or o Any substantial departures from the norm. The court will inquire whether the departure from the norm is only to create hardship for the suspect class. ( Village of Willowbrook v. Olech ) o If discriminatory motivation is found, the burden shifts to the government to prove that it would have made the same decision absent the discriminatory motivating factor ( Arlington Heights footnote 21). If the government fails, the rule will automatically fail strict scrutiny because discrimination is never a compelling governmental interest. If the government prevails, the analysis continues under the rational basis test. Discriminatory Application: A clear pattern unexplainable on grounds other than suspect classification emerges from the effect of the state action even when the governing legislation appears neutral on its face. When a law is being applied in a discriminatory fashion, the court will analyze under a strict scrutiny analysis. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, Gomillion v. Lightfoot Strict Scrutiny : Laws or practices that draw distinctions on the basis of race or national origin are inherently suspect and subject to strict scrutiny. A law or practice that is subject to SS will past constitutional muster only
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This note was uploaded on 04/26/2010 for the course LAW 100 taught by Professor Whaley during the Spring '10 term at John Marshall Law School.

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Final Skinny - EQUAL PROTECTION Rational Basis: the...

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