Constitutional Remedies for Underinclusive Statutes: A Critical Appraisal of Heckler v. Mathews
Bruce K. Miller
Western New England University School of Law
Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), Vol. 20, p. 79, 1985
The power of the federal courts to remedy injuries caused by constitutional violations is a fundamental assumption of our constitutional scheme. The Supreme Court's equal protection decisions of the past generation illustrate the extent to which we take this power completely for granted. When confronted with a statute that denies a litigant's fifth or fourteenth amendment right to equal treatment, the Court has rarely limited itself to a simple declaration that the statute is unconstitutional. Such declarations, rather, have been routinely accompanied by awards of often substantial relief to the persons injured by the unconstitutional inequality. The author analyzes Heckler v. Matthews as it informs this area of law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 73
Keywords: constitutional law, federal courts, statutes
Date posted: December 15, 2011 ; Last revised: December 28, 2011