But, unfair laws may be allowed to stand due to a conceivable legitimate purpose being possible for virtually every law Kotch v. Board of River Port Pilot Commissioners (1947) – upheld a law that conditioned receiving a pilots license on completion of a training program that’s selection was essentially limited to friends and family due to sufficient benefits to morale Extreme cases where laws have been invalidated under rational basis: o Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center (1985) – used rational basis to invalidate a zoning ordinance that prevented the operation of a home for mentally disabled o US Dep’t of Agriculture v. Moreno (1973) – invalidated as violating rational basis a federal law that prevented a household from receiving food stamps if it included individuals who were not related to each other o Romer v. Evans (1996) – found voter initiative in CO that repealed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation failed rational review. Moral justification insufficient. o But, it may just be that he Court is finding that certain laws lack a legitimate purpose or are so arbitrary as to be unreasonable The Requirement for Legitimate Purpose: Gov has a legitimate purpose if it advances traditional police purpose, protects safety, public health, or public morals o Railway Express Agency v. NY (1949) – upheld a law that prohibited the operation of ads on vehicles unless they were owned and operated by a business Legitimate purpose of enhancing traffic safety Question of EP is to be based on practical considerations – Not necessary that all evils of the type be eradicated, or none at all Classification has relation to the purpose for which it was made and does not contain discrimination EP protects against Concur: Jackson – burden should rest heavily on one who argues a substantive law or 38
Lenhardt_ConLaw_Fall 2012 ordinance should be struck down on DP grounds o Williamson v. Lee Optical (1955) Douglas – emphasized public health as a basis for finding a law precluding opticians from fitting or making duplicate lenses without a prescription - found possible reasons legislature MAY have concluded its reasonable Virtually any goal not forbidden by the Constitution will be sufficient to meet rational basis test: o New Orleans v. Dukes (1976) – Upheld a regulation permitting food cart vendors in an area if they had continually operated the same business for 8 yrs, finding it rationally related to the purpose. Did not need mathematical exactitude to be rational. Favoring in state businesses over out of state businesses does not constitute a legitimate purpose, especially in light of the policies underlying dormant commerce clause and Art. IV privileges and immunities clause US Dep’t of Agriculture v. Moreno (1973) – EP at the very least means a bare congressional desire to harm politically unpopular groups cannot constitute a legitimate gov purpose NY City Transit Authority v. Beazer (1979) Stevens – upheld exclusion of all methadone users from transit authority employment.
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