equal protection

noun

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

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Two previous courts found that Evans’s conduct violated Flowers’s right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Aja Romano, Vox, "Curtis Flowers was tried 6 times for the same crime. Now the Supreme Court will hear his case.," 6 Nov. 2018 The 4-3 decision, in which Kennedy sided with the majority, determined that such a program is legal under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 Saucier, of Arlington, Vermont, says his constitutional rights to equal protection under the laws were violated. Fox News, "Ex-sailor seeks to sue feds over classified submarine photos," 10 July 2018 The 4-3 decision, in which Kennedy sided with the majority, determined that such a program is legal under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 The Wisconsin case also used the First Amendment, along with a Fourteenth Amendment claim that the partisan gerrymandering violated the voters’ constitutional right to equal protection under law. Jonathan Lai, Philly.com, "How the U.S. Supreme Court's partisan gerrymandering non-decisions affect Pa.," 18 June 2018 The 4-3 decision, in which Kennedy sided with the majority, determined that such a program is legal under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 The lawsuit claims the law is racially discriminatory and violates equal protection, among other claims. Mike Cason, AL.com, "Judges hear appeal challenging law that blocked Birmingham minimum wage," 13 Apr. 2018 That leaves no room for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to usurp the legislature’s power under vague interpretations of the state’s guarantees of free speech and equal protection, the state Republicans say. Robert Barnes, Washington Post, "Supreme Court refuses to block Pa. ruling invalidating congressional map," 5 Feb. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of equal protection

1868, in the meaning defined above

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14 Nov 2018

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The first known use of equal protection was in 1868

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More Definitions for equal protection

equal protection

noun

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.

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