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Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Unit 3, Lesson 19.

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Presentation on theme: "Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Unit 3, Lesson 19."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Unit 3, Lesson 19

2 Equal Protection of the LawEqual Protection of the Law Constitutional guarantee of fair treatment of all persons regardless of sex, race, religion, or national origin. 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. Guarantees Equality of Opportunity but NOT Equality of Condition.

3 Separate But Equal? Argument that racial segregation is constitutional as long as facilities are equal. Argument that racial segregation is constitutional as long as facilities are equal. Part of Jim Crow Era: 1870s – 1960s Part of Jim Crow Era: 1870s – 1960s Plessy v. Furguson (1896) made it federal policy. Plessy v. Furguson (1896) made it federal policy.

4 Brown v. Board of Education overturns Separate But Equal! National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had fought lynching & segregation since National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had fought lynching & segregation since Sued the Board of Edu. In Topeka, KS (1954) over the severe & damaging effects segregated schools had on African American children. 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 Supreme Court ruled that Separate facilities are inherently unequal

5 How has the Supreme Courts 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. 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 cant). Does this law violate the equal protection clause? Example: Must be 18 to vote = 2 classifications (those who can, those who cant). Does this law violate the equal protection clause?

6 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. 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 2. Intermediate Scrutiny: reserved for laws that classify people based on gender 3. Rational Basis: All other laws that create classifications (wealth, age, disability). 3. Rational Basis: All other laws that create classifications (wealth, age, disability).

7 Remaining Controversies 1. Is Affirmative Action permissible? 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? 2. Should laws that classify gender have a higher scrutiny? 3. Where do the handicapped, homosexuals, or children of illegal aliens fit in? 3. Where do the handicapped, homosexuals, or children of illegal aliens fit in?


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