GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

Because it is not made with mathematical nicety or

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because it is not made with mathematical nicety or because in prac- tice it results in some inequality. 3. When the classification in such a law is called in question, if any state of facts reasonably can be conceived that would sustain it, the existence of that state of facts at the time the law was enacted must be assumed. 4. One who as- sails the classification in such a law must carry the burden of show- ing that it does not rest upon any reasonable basis, but is essen- tially arbitrary.” Especially because of the emphasis upon the necessity for total arbitrariness, utter irrationality, and the fact that the Court will strain to conceive of a set of facts that will justify the classifi- cation, the test is extremely lenient and, assuming the existence of a constitutionally permissible goal, no classification will ever be up- set. But, contemporaneously with this test, the Court also pro- nounced another lenient standard which did leave to the courts a judgmental role. In F.S. Royster Guano Co. v. Virginia , 1456 the court put forward the following test: “[T]he classification must be reason- able, not arbitrary, and must rest upon some ground of difference having a fair and substantial relation to the object of the legisla- tion, so that all persons similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike.” 1457 Use of the latter standard did in fact result in some in- validations. 1458 1455 220 U.S. 61, 78–79 (1911), quoted in full in Morey v. Doud, 354 U.S. 457, 463–64 (1957). Classifications which are purposefully discriminatory fall before the Equal Protection Clause without more. E.g. , Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, 30 (1885); Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 373–74 (1886). Cf. New York City Transit Auth. v. Beazer, 440 U.S. 568, 593 n.40 (1979). Explicit in all the formulations is that a legislature must have had a permissible purpose, a requirement which is sel- dom failed, given the leniency of judicial review. But see Zobel v. Williams, 457 U.S. 55, 63–64 (1982), and id. at 65 (Justice Brennan concurring). 1456 253 U.S. 412 (1920). 1457 253 U.S. at 415. See also Brown-Forman Co. v. Kentucky, 217 U.S. 563, 573 (1910). 1458 E.g. , F.S. Royster Guano Co. v. Virginia, 253 U.S. 412 (1920) (striking down a tax on the out-of-state income of domestic corporations that did business in the state, when domestic corporations that engaged only in out-of-state business were exempted); Stewart Dry Goods Co. v. Lewis, 294 U.S. 550 (1935) (striking down a graduated tax on gross receipts as arbitrary because it was insufficiently related to net profits); Mayflower Farms v. Ten Eyck, 297 U.S. 266 (1936) (striking down a 2099 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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But then, coincident with the demise of substantive due pro- cess in the area of economic regulation, 1459 the Court reverted to the former standard, deferring to the legislative judgment on ques- tions of economics and related matters; even when an impermis- sible purpose could have been attributed to the classifiers it was usually possible to conceive of a reason that would justify the clas- sification.
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