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Study Notes- Constitutional Law

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Unformatted text preview: has been interpreted to place the same restrictions on the federal government as the EP clause places on the states. One of the difficulties in interpreting the EP clause is that while it places restrictions on government use of classification, all laws necessarily classify groups of individuals in order to create incentives and disincentives in society. Therefore, identifying whether a class is to be protected and the level of scrutiny the courts should apply when judging the necessity of a particular classification is crucial. Affirmative Action in Schools • In Grutter v. Bollinger, decided in 2003, the SC upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action admissions policy. In a 5- 4 decision, the Court upheld its precedent in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, stating that while racial quotas are unconstitutional, educational institutions can legally use race as one of many factors in their admissions process. A quota, or other mechanical formula was not considered to be narrowly tailored to the compelling interest of maintaining a diverse educational system. • In Johnson v. California, decided in 2005, the SC stated that racial classifications receive close scrutiny even when the classifications are meant to benefit the races equally. Here, a prison used race to determine which prisoners to pair up in cells. The SC held that the standard of review should be strict scrutiny and that this classification was immediately suspect, even if it was intended to benefit the races. • Criticism of Affirmative Action: 1) opponents regard af...
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