The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Fourteenth Amendment

What is an example of an equal protection violation?

A prime example of an equal protection violation is to treat people differently based on their race or gender. The most famous equal-protection case in all of constitutional law is probably Brown v. Board of Education (1954) where the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that segregated public schools were “inherently unequal” under the Equal Protection Clause. Another example was the Supreme Court unanimously striking down a Virginia law that prohibited interracial marriages in Loving v. Virginia (1967).

Racial and gender classifications are subject to increased scrutiny by Courts. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that racial classifications—even racial classifications for a benign (non-discriminatory) purpose—are “inherently suspect.” The court has also looked very searchingly at gender classifications.


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