equal protection


Definition of equal protection

: a guarantee under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that a state must treat an individual or class of individuals the same as it treats other individuals or classes in like circumstances

Examples of equal protection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Several states and non-Native families seeking to adopt sued, arguing the preferential treatment violates the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2022 The plaintiffs allege that the defendant schools failed to provide sufficient distance learning and violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Sep. 2022 The lawsuit alleges that Woodbridge has violated Connecticut’s Zoning Enabling Act and Fair Housing Act, as well as due process, equal protection and anti-segregation portions of the state Constitution. Hartford Courant, 30 Aug. 2022 In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled last week that the county’s bail system does not violate the equal protection or due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, 2 Aug. 2022 Taxing out-of-state investors and buyers differently than in-state ones could spark litigation citing the equal protection and commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution, said Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University. Skyler Swisher, Orlando Sentinel, 2 Aug. 2022 Planned Parenthood argues the law violates the Utah Constitution’s equal protection and right to privacy provisions. Jennifer Mcdermott, BostonGlobe.com, 11 July 2022 Planned Parenthood of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah filed a lawsuit on June 25, contending the 2020 law violates the state constitution's equal protection and privacy provisions. Editors, USA TODAY, 11 July 2022 The lawsuit argues that UW-Whitewater violated Vander Pas' rights under Title IX and the equal protection and the due process clauses of the state and federal constitution. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equal protection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of equal protection

1868, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for equal protection

Time Traveler

The first known use of equal protection was in 1868

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Dictionary Entries Near equal protection

equal opportunity employer

equal protection

equal sign

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Statistics for equal protection

Last Updated

5 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Equal protection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equal%20protection. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for equal protection

equal protection


Legal Definition of equal protection

: a guarantee under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that a state must treat an individual or class of individuals the same as it treats other individuals or classes in like circumstances

called also equal protection of the law

— see also rational basis test, strict scrutiny, suspect classification

Note: The equal protection requirement of the Constitution protects against legislation that affects individuals differently without a rational basis for doing so. In reviewing claims of denial of equal protection, a court will uphold legislation that has a rational basis unless the legislation affects a fundamental right or involves a suspect classification, such as race. In such a case, the court will use a strict scrutiny standard of review and will strike down legislation that does not show a compelling need for discriminating.

More from Merriam-Webster on equal protection

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about equal protection


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