WTP Unit 3, Lesson 19 pp - Millbury Public Schools

January 15, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Civics
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Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Unit 3, Lesson 19

“Equal Protection of the Law”  Constitutional

guarantee of fair treatment of all persons regardless of sex, race, religion, or national origin.

 Guarantees

Equality of Opportunity but NOT Equality of Condition.

Separate But Equal? 

Argument that racial segregation is constitutional as long as facilities are equal.



Part of Jim Crow Era: 1870s – 1960s



Plessy v. Furguson (1896) made it federal policy.

Brown v. Board of Education overturns Separate But Equal! 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had fought lynching & segregation since 1909.



Sued the Board of Edu. In Topeka, KS (1954) over the “severe & damaging

effects segregated schools had on African American children.” 

Supreme Court ruled that “Separate

facilities are inherently unequal”

How has the Supreme Court’s interpretation of “equal protection” changed since Brown? 

The Court analyzes laws that classify people into groups to see if that law violates the equal protection clause.



Example: Must be 18 to vote = 2 classifications (those who can, those who can’t). Does this law violate the equal protection clause?

3 Levels of Law Analysis 

1. Strict Scrutiny: Reserved for laws that classify people based on race, national origin, religion, or citizenship, & laws that restrict voting, travel, or access to courts.



2. Intermediate Scrutiny: reserved for laws that classify people based on gender



3. Rational Basis: All other laws that create classifications (wealth, age, disability).

Remaining Controversies 

1. Is Affirmative Action permissible? – Laws that give preferences to groups that have been historically denied opportunities.



2. Should laws that classify gender have a higher scrutiny?



3. Where do the handicapped, homosexuals, or children of illegal aliens fit in?

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