equal protection clause simplified

Bancroft, acting as court reporter, indicated in the headnotes that corporations were "persons", while the actual court decision itself avoided specific statements regarding the Equal Protection Clause as applied to corporations. the idea that those responsible for making sure laws are obeyed should deal with every person or organization in the same way: Both state-run and private schools should have equal protection under the law. If a provision of the Bill of Rights is “incorporated” against the states, this means that the state governments, as well as the federal government, are required to abide by it. Remember that the Bill of Rights protects some rights for Americans. This clause of the 14th … 1 in view of its apparent transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution. [56] In Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. At that time, the Court had split, with a majority of the justices voting that school segregation did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. It is a popular interpretation that the Fourteenth Amendment was always meant to ensure equal rights for all those in the United States. At first blush, these few words do not appear to present difficulties in interpretation. However, in the 1976 case of Craig v. Boren, the Court added another tier of scrutiny, called "intermediate scrutiny", regarding gender discrimination. "Education Finance Reform Litigation and Separation of Powers: Kentucky Makes Its Contribution,". A unanimous Court, through Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, said that Oklahoma had deprived McLaurin of the equal protection of the laws: There is a vast difference—a Constitutional difference—between restrictions imposed by the state which prohibit the intellectual commingling of students, and the refusal of individuals to commingle where the state presents no such bar. Many commentators have noted, however—and Justice Thurgood Marshall so notes in his partial concurrence—that the Court did appear to examine the City of Cleburne's denial of a permit to a group home for intellectually disabled people with a significantly higher degree of scrutiny than is typically associated with the rational-basis test. The first modern application of the Equal Protection Clause to voting law came in Baker v. Carr (1962), where the Court ruled that the districts that sent representatives to the Tennessee state legislature were so malapportioned (with some legislators representing ten times the number of residents as others) that they violated the Equal Protection Clause. Prohibiting blacks from attending plays or staying in inns was "simply a private wrong". A classification having some reasonable basis does not offend against that clause merely … The claim that 682,479 ballots were improperly processed and counted is still very much part of the suit. [26], Bingham said in a speech on March 31, 1871 that the clause meant no State could deny to any one "the equal protection of the Constitution of the United States ... [or] any of the rights which it guarantees to all men", nor deny to anyone "any right secured to him either by the laws and treaties of the United States or of such State. [2] As a whole, the Fourteenth Amendment marked a large shift in American constitutionalism. Much more controversial was the remedy that the Court chose, namely, the cessation of a statewide recount. The meaning of the Equal Protection Clause has been the subject of much debate, and inspired the well-known phrase "Equal Justice Under Law". Under this theory, equal protection jurisprudence has been applied to voting rights. When Senator Jacob Howard introduced that final version, he said:[24]. Pdf. [53] Also, the Court itself decided in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973) that the Equal Protection Clause allows—but does not require—a state to provide equal educational funding to all students within the state. This is especially evident in the charter school system where parents of students can pick which schools their children attend based on the amenities provided by that school and the needs of the child. Today, Craig is going to talk about the most important part of the Constitution - the Fourteenth Amendment. This failure to treat equally all those who are arguably similarly situated regarding these burdens or benefits prompts challenges in the application of the Equal Protection Clause. When the law lays an unequal hand on those who have committed intrinsically the same quality of offense and sterilizes one and not the other, it has made as invidious a discrimination as if it had selected a particular race or nationality for oppressive treatment. 1 (2007), the Court held that, if a school system became racially imbalanced due to social factors other than governmental racism, then the state is not as free to integrate schools as if the state had been at fault for the racial imbalance. [79], The Supreme Court has been disinclined to extend full "suspect classification" status (thus making a law that categorizes on that basis subject to greater judicial scrutiny) for groups other than racial minorities and religious groups. Washington: S. & R. O. Polkinhorn, Printers, 1874. [34], Likewise, some states were more favorable to women's legal status than others; New York, for example, had been giving women full property, parental, and widow's rights since 1860, but not the right to vote. [16], During the debate in Congress, more than one version of the clause was considered. This page was last changed on 3 April 2019, at 16:12. Warren discouraged other justices, such as Robert H. Jackson, from publishing any concurring opinion; Jackson's draft, which emerged much later (in 1988), included this statement: "Constitutions are easier amended than social customs, and even the North never fully conformed its racial practices to its professions". [15] There were also two states, Ohio and New Jersey, that accepted the amendment and then later passed resolutions rescinding that acceptance. [20] The scope of this clause was substantially narrowed following the Slaughterhouse Cases in which it was determined that a citizen's privileges and immunities were only ensured at the Federal level and that it was government overreach to impose this standard on the states. The Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause requires the United States government to practice equal protection. New York University Press. It protects the black man in his fundamental rights as a citizen with the same shield which it throws over the white man. [14] This ratification was irregular in many ways. In Shelley v. Kraemer (1948), the Court showed increased willingness to find racial discrimination illegal. Definition of equal protection : a guarantee under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that a state must treat an individual or class of individuals the same as it treats other individuals or classes in like circumstances Examples of equal protection in a Sentence A primary motivation for this clause was to validate the equality provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed that all people would have rights equal to those of all citizens. [5] In the 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, the Supreme Court rejected abolitionism and determined Black men, whether free or in bondage, had no legal rights under the U.S. Constitution at the time. It has inspired the well-known phrase "Equal Justice Under Law". The Equal Protection Clause prevents states from denying "to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." [75], Originally, the Fourteenth Amendment did not forbid sex discrimination to the same extent as other forms of discrimination. 30, p. 695 (2008-2009). [68], Choosing the standard of scrutiny can determine the outcome of a case, and the strict scrutiny standard is often described as "strict in theory and fatal in fact". A few years later, Justice Stanley Matthews wrote the Court's opinion in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886). A study found that killers of whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than were killers of blacks. Here is the first version: "The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure ... to all persons in the several states equal protection in the rights of life, liberty, and property. Equal Protection Clause From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. [44] In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Clause was used to strike down numerous statutes applying to corporations. The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. [21] With the abridgment of the Privileges and Immunities clause, legal arguments aimed at protecting Black American's rights became more complex and that is when the equal protection clause started to gain attention for the arguments it could enhance. The Court may have added other tiers too, such as "enhanced rational basis" scrutiny,[65] and "exceedingly persuasive basis" scrutiny. The Supreme Court itself recognized the gravity of the Brown v Board decision acknowledging that a split decision would be a threat to the role of the Supreme Court and even to the country. [18], Though the equal protection clause is one of the most cited ideas in legal theory, it received little attention during the ratification of the 14th amendment. Thus the court devolved authority to local school boards and to the trial courts that had originally heard the cases. Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Election? The Court did not purport to use any level of scrutiny more demanding than rational basis review, according to law professor Erwin Chemerinsky. "[60] According to that rationale, the segregation of schools in Washington D.C. was unauthorized and therefore illegal. The Equal Protection Clause itself applies only to the federal government. The Equal Protection Clause is from the text of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. [90], Guarantee of law protecting all persons equally in the United States, These audio files were created from a revision of this article dated 9 April 2006, Discriminatory intent and disparate impact, For details on the rationale for, and ratification of, the Fourteenth Amendment, see generally. The clause, which took effect in 1868, provides "nor shall any State [...] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". Thus, the equal protection clause is crucial to the protection of civil rights. These provisions are universal in their application to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality, and the equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws. Sumner, Charles, and Daniel Murray Pamphlet Collection. Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Univ. The Supreme Court used four of its rulings from 1960s voting rights cases (one of which was Reynolds v. Sims) to support its ruling in Bush v. Gore. The Act provided that all persons should have "full and equal enjoyment of ... inns, public conveyances on land or water, theatres, and other places of public amusement." Equal protection forces a state to govern impartially—not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective. The ratification of the amendment by the former Confederate states was imposed as a condition of their acceptance back into the Union. Seeming to go against the spirit, if not the exact letter, of The Civil Rights Cases, the Court found that, although a discriminatory private contract could not violate the Equal Protection Clause, the courts' enforcement of such a contract could; after all, the Supreme Court reasoned, courts were part of the state. Baker V. Carr dealt with Administrative law. Some scholars have argued that the Court's decision in Bolling should have been reached on other grounds. A primary motivation for this clause was to validate the equality provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed that all citizens would have the guaranteed right to equal protection by law. The meaning of the Equal Protection Clause has been the subject of much debate. Qualifications of its own Members", had excluded Southerners from Congress, declaring that their states, having rebelled against the Union, could therefore not elect members to Congress. It mandates that individuals in similar situations be treated equally by the law.[1][2][3]. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Justice Harlan again dissented. The Court rejected as "implausible" the dissent's argument that the amendment would not deprive homosexuals of general protections provided to everyone else but rather would merely prevent "special treatment of homosexuals. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Hernandez saying persons cannot be discriminated against due to color from jury duty, as it falls under the Equal Protection Clause of 14th Amendment. The Court did employ similar principles, however, in combination with federalism principles. [54] Moreover, the Court's decision in Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925) allowed families to opt out of public schools, despite "inequality in economic resources that made the option of private schools available to some and not to others", as Martha Minow has put it. The result in Arlington Heights was similar to that in Washington v. Davis (1976), and has been defended on the basis that the Equal Protection Clause was not designed to guarantee equal outcomes, but rather equal opportunities; if a legislature wants to correct unintentional but racially disparate effects, it may be able to do so through further legislation. The same right to make a contract as is enjoyed by white citizens, means the right to make any contract which a white citizen may make. Such legislation was enacted by many of the same people who framed the Equal Protection Clause, though that clause did not apply to such federal legislation, and instead only applied to state legislation. [12] The effort was led by the Radical Republicans of both houses of Congress, including John Bingham, Charles Sumner, and Thaddeus Stevens. [16] This clause sought to protect the privileges and immunities of all citizens which now included Black men. On the face, there was no clear evidence of racially discriminatory intent on the part of Arlington Heights's planning commission. Learn more. Baker’s argument revolved around the Supremacy Clause. [19] Instead the key tenet of the Fourteenth Amendment at the time of its ratification was the Privileges and Immunities Clause. This was a significant decision; freedom-of-choice plans had been very common responses to Brown. "[22] Bingham said about this version: "It confers upon Congress power to see to it that the protection given by the laws of the States shall be equal in respect to life and liberty and property to all persons. [13], With the return to originalist interpretations of the Constitution, many wonder what was intended by the framers of the reconstruction amendments at the time of their ratification. It may seem counterintuitive that the Equal Protection Clause should provide for equal voting rights; after all, it would seem to make the Fifteenth Amendment and the Nineteenth Amendment redundant. The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. At issue was the controversial recount in Florida in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. In Brown II, decided in 1954, it was concluded that since the problems identified in the previous opinion were local, the solutions needed to be so as well. It seems that race is a factor in the choice of charter school.[57]. As a whole, the Fourteenth Amendment marked a large shift in American constitutionalism, by applying substantially more constitutional restrictions against the states than had applied before the Civil War. Voting rights Justice John Marshall Harlan II sought to interpret the Equal Protection Clause in the context of Section 2 of the same amendment. The policy in Grutter, and a Harvard College admissions policy praised by Justice Powell's opinion in Bakke, passed muster because the Court deemed that they were narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling interest in diversity. [89] On the other side, it is argued that the purpose of the Equal Protection Clause is to prevent the socio-political subordination of some groups by others, not to prevent classification; since this is so, non-invidious classifications, such as those used by affirmative action programs, should not be subjected to heightened scrutiny. [66], All of this is known as "tiered" scrutiny, and it has had many critics, including Justice Thurgood Marshall who argued for a "spectrum of standards in reviewing discrimination", instead of discrete tiers. The 13th amendment abolished slavery but to what extent it protected other rights was unclear. In dicta, however, Justice O'Connor, writing for the Court, said she expected that in 25 years, racial preferences would no longer be necessary. Balkin, J. M.; Bruce A. Ackerman (2001). The Supreme Court intervened a handful of times in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but its next major desegregation decision was not until Green v. School Board of New Kent County (1968), in which Justice William J. Brennan, writing for a unanimous Court, rejected a "freedom-of-choice" school plan as inadequate. In McLaurin, the University of Oklahoma had admitted McLaurin, an African-American, but had restricted his activities there: he had to sit apart from the rest of the students in the classrooms and library, and could eat in the cafeteria only at a designated table. While the Equal Protection Clause itself applies only to state and local governments, the Supreme Court held in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nonetheless imposes various equal protection requirements on the federal government via reverse incorporation. 1880 ) 's suffrage when the Equal protection Clause would change forever of all citizens which now included men! Could choose to send their children to either a formerly white or a formerly Black.. The future Solicitor General and Associate Justice of the Equal protection Clause would forever... Act of 1866 ( Brown was actually a consolidation of four different states. equal protection clause simplified are irrelevant to a stark... 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