The Poor as a Suspect Class Under the Equal Protection Clause: An Open Constitutional Question
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
January 29, 2010
Nova Law Review, Forthcoming
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2009-0021
Both judges and legal scholars assert that the United States Supreme Court has held that the poor are neither a quasi-suspect nor a suspect class under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. They further assert that this issue was decided by the Supreme Court in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973).
It is the thesis of this article that the Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the poor are a quasi-suspect or a suspect class under Equal Protection. In fact, the majority in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriquez found that the case involved no discrete discrimination against the poor. Whether the poor should constitute a quasi-suspect or suspect class under Equal Protection remains an open constitutional question.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Equal Protection Clause, Poor as a Suspect Class, Poverty Law, Fourteenth Amendment and the Poor, Constitutional Law
JEL Classification: I30, J78, K10, K19
Date posted: February 19, 2010