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The Poor as a Suspect Class Under the Equal Protection Clause: An Open Constitutional Question

19 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2010  

Henry Rose

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: January 29, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Equal Protection Clause, Poor as a Suspect Class, Poverty Law, Fourteenth Amendment and the Poor, Constitutional Law

JEL Classification: I30, J78, K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Rose, Henry, The Poor as a Suspect Class Under the Equal Protection Clause: An Open Constitutional Question (January 29, 2010). Nova Law Review, Forthcoming; Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2009-0021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1546666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1546666

Henry Rose (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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