Constitutional Law II

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  1. Framework for Equal Protection Analysis
    • 1. What is the classification
    • - Classification can exist on the face of the law - facial discrimination
    • - Classification can exist as a discriminatory impact
    • -- Must prove discriminatory impact as well as prove that the government had the purpose of causing the discriminatory impact.

    • 2. What level of scrutiny should be applied
    • - Strict scrutiny
    • - Intermediate scrutiny
    • -- Gender
    • -- Legitimacy
    • - Rational Basis

    3. Does the particular government action meet the level of scrutiny?
  2. EP challenge using rational basis
    - Case
    Romer - Amendment prohibits all legislation designed to protect homosexual persons. Court held that the amendment does not meet rational basis test because there was no legitimate purpose for the law.
  3. EP analysis
    - Under rational basis review, does the legitimate purpose that the government articulate have to be the actual purpose the law was created or can it be any conceivable purpose?
    - Case
    Actual purpose behind a law is irrelevant and the law must be upheld if any state of facts reasonably may be conceived to justify its discrimination.

    Railroad Retirement case - Congress enacted an act that denied full windfall benefits to those who had no statutory entitlement to dual benefits at hte time they left the railroad industry, but became eligible when they subsequently qualified for social security benefits. The reason why the act was enacted may not have been the lost of money for the railroad, but the court allowed any conceivable purpose.
  4. Underinclusive
    A law is underinclusive if it does not apply to similarly situated individuals.

    • Court is generally more sympathetic to underinclusive legislation for two reasons:
    • - only negative impact is that a person or group that should have been included was not.
    • - Government should be able to tackle problems one step at a time.
  5. Overinclusive
    A law is overinclusive if it includes more people than necessary for the government to achieve its goal.
  6. Under either Due Process or Equal Protection the court must decide...
    whether a claimed liberty is sufficiently important to be regarded as fundamental, even though it is not mentioned in the text of the Constitution.
  7. Difference between DP and EP
    If a right is safeguarded under DP, the constitutional issue is whether the government's interference is justified by a sufficient purpose.

    If a right is protected under EP, the issue is whether the government's discrimination as to who can exercise the right is justified by a sufficient purpose.

    Therefore if the law denies the right to everyone, then due process would be the best grounds for analysis; but if a law denies a right to some, while allowing ot to others, the discrimination can be challenged as offending EP or the violation of the right can be objected under DP.
  8. Ninth Amendment
    Used to provide a textual justification for the Court to protect non-textual rights, such as the right to privacy.
  9. Framework for Analyzing Fundamental Rights
    Is there a fundamental right?

    • Is the right infringed?
    • - Is there an outright infringement of the right or an impermissible burden?
    • - How direct and substantial is the interference?

    Is the government's action justified by a sufficient purpose?

    Are the means sufficiently related to the goal sought?
  10. If challenging based on a EP or DP violation and there is no fundamental right, what standard of review should be used?
    rational basis
  11. Fundamental Rights (we discussed)
    Constitutional Protection for Family Autonomy

    Constitutional Protection for Reproductive Autonomy

    Constitutional Protection for Medical Care Decisions (Substantive Due Process)
  12. Fundamental Right
    -Constitutional Protection for Family Autonomy
    • Right to Marry
    • - Loving v. Virginia - statute banned interracial marriage held unconstitutional
    • - Zablocki v. Redhail - Couple prevented from marrying if they were behind in their child support obligations or if the children to whom they were obligated were likely to become public charges.

    • Right to Custody of One's Children
    • - Stanley v. Illinois - In a dependency proceeding by the State, the children of plaintiff unwed father were declared wards of the State.
    • - Michael H. v. Gerald D. - Although child was from the exxtra-marital affair, when there is a child born of the marriage, the husband is presumed the father.

    • Right to Keep the Family Together
    • - Moore v. City of East Cleveland - The ordinance did not distinguish between related and unrelated individuals, but sliced into the family and regulated what cagegories of relatives might live together. Court rule violation of DP

    • Right of Parents to Control the Upbringing of their Children
    • - Meyer v. Nebraska - Court held that the liberty guaranteed by the 14th Amendment protected the teacher's right to teach and the right of parents to engge the teacher in educating their children.
    • - Pierce v. Society of the Sisters - The Act mandated that all children aged 8 to 16 years old attend public school instead of private school. The Act unreasonably interfered with the liberty of the parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

    - Troxel v. Granville - The visitation order, giving the grandparents the right to visit their grandchildren, was an unconstitutional infringement on the mother's fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of her children.
  13. Fundamental Right
    - Constitutional Protection for Reproductive Autonomy
    • Right to Procreate
    • - Buck v. Bell - Court held that it was constitutional to order inmates to be sterilized.
    • - Skinner v. Oklahoma - The act treated larceny and embezzlement the same as far as fines and imprisonment terms, but when it came to sterilization the law was different and therefore unconstitutional.

    • Right to Purchase and Use Contraceptives
    • - Griswold v. Connecticut - Statute prohibiting doctors from giving medical adivce to married couples about contraceptives was unconstitutional.
    • - Eisenstadt v. Baird - Court held that the statute violated the EP Clause because there was no rational reason for the different treatment of married and unmarried couples in the lecturer giving contraceptives.

    • The Right to Abortion
    • - Roe v. Wade - Trimester formulation - state does not have a compelling interest justifying restrictions on abortion (except when the health of the mother is at risk) until the fetus is a person capable of surviving on its own.
    • - Planned Parenthood v. Casey - Changed from trimester framework to previability and postviability framework. The court also changed from strict scrutiny to the undue burden test for determining whether the state regulations had the purpose or effect of placing substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before viability.
    • - Previability - state can regulate for the health and safety of the mother (regulate the procedures and location of the administration of the abortion; states can regulate informed consent regulations)
  14. Fundamental Right
    - Constitutional Protection for Reproductive Autonomy
    - Government Regulation of Abortions
    Gonzales v. Cahart - The court held constitutional an act that banned an abortion procedure, intact D&E. The Act did not have a health exception, but it did have a "life in danger" exception. Court applied the Casey standard and stated that there was no undue burden because there were other alternatives to get an abortion.
  15. Fundamental Right
    - Constitutional Protection for Reproductive Autonomy
    - Government Restrictions on Funds and Facilities for Abortions
    • Maher v. Roe - Court upheld statute stating that the state is not required to pay for non-therapeutic abortions during the first trimester. Court used rational basis since no suspect class. Court also said that there was no EP violation b/c the differential treatment was not choice to have a child v. choice to abort a child; the difference is indigency v. lack of indigency.
    • - Harris v. McRae - Court held that the Hyde Amendment (denies public funding for some medically necessary abortions) was constitutional. Court held we are a government of negative rights and not postitive rights
Card Set
Constitutional Law II
Constitutional Law
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