The Equal Protection Clause Of The Fourteenth Amendment

3764 Words Apr 22nd, 2015 16 Pages
The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was at first created to protect against racial discrimination, but the Supreme Court later expanded the clause to also providing equal treatment amongst different races. The clause says, “No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Constitution. Art./Amend. XIV, Sec. 1.) A person could not be discriminated upon solely because of his or her race and if the law treated a group of people differently, then a valid reason for the discrepancy of different treatment must exist. Racial minorities, but mainly women, have historically been subjected and made vulnerable to harsh restrictions on activities such as voting, …show more content…
Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973) to reconsider the appropriate measure of review. The case of Frontiero v. Richardson involves Sharron Frontiero, a recently married lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, who sought to obtain armed service benefits for her husband Joseph, a full-time college student and veteran. A federal law at the time held that the wife of a military man is automatically qualified for health benefits regardless of her income, but a married woman needed to prove that her spouse was dependent on her for more than half of his support. Sharron earned more than her husband, but because he was not dependent on her for more than half of his support, she was denied of the health benefits as a result of the law. Frontiero then filed a suit and disputed in federal court saying that the contrastive treatment of men and women was unconstitutional and discriminatory against women; she argued that the same benefits a married man receives for his wife should also apply for a married woman in the uniformed services without providing evidence of dependency regardless of the need for support. Since the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to action taken by a state only, the Frontieros had to appeal their claim with the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment (Cushman, 45). The legal question of this case is whether the statute that offers different spousal benefits on the basis of gender is in
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