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, attending college, and working as lawyers. These restrictions, based on stereotypes overlooked the actual capability and potential of each individual woman. For many cases dealing with discrimination of women, the Court looked to another important element of equal protection, which stated that unfair treatment couldn’t be based on immutable distinctions, such as race and gender, because those fixed distinctions are uncontrollable and unrelated to ability. In the case of Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973), the Supreme Court was just one vote short of adopting gender as a suspect classification. In United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), women rights supporters were very pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling and remain…
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