LAW 532-001 – Constitutional Law II

Equal Protection


  1. Identify the class affected
    • Also identify the class of people treated otherwise
  2. Determine whether the classification is suspect
    • Suspect Classification

      A few factors determine whether a classification is suspect. It is likely if it is:

      1. Historically irrationally marginalized or oppressed
      2. A minority
      3. Immutable traits
      4. Without the political power to remedy its issue
  3. Choose the relevant standard of review

Discriminatory impact does not mean that there is a discriminatory purpose, but it is evidence thereof.

Diversity is a compelling government interest in higher education.

  • Quotas are prohibited however because they are not narrowly tailored.
Private Discrimination

The U.S. Constitution does not prevent private racial discrimination, so neither state nor the federal governments have a duty to outlaw it.

States can outlaw private discrimination under their police powers however, and the federal government can under the commerce clause.

States can enforce private racially restrictive covenants of the sale of property, but they do not have to.