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

Recent Examples on the Web

In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that those caps were arbitrary and violated the equal protection provision of the state constitution. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shirley Abrahamson won't seek another term, setting up race for Wisconsin high court seat," 30 May 2018 To do so violates students’ right to equal protection just as much as punishing the innocent. WSJ, "DeVos Is Restoring Order to America’s Schools," 30 Dec. 2018 Following that line of thinking, the Wisconsin plaintiffs claimed that, under the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, a statewide analysis was required to demonstrate bias. Barry C. Burden, Washington Post, "The Supreme Court decided not to decide Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case. But here’s why it will be back.," 19 June 2018 The American criminal justice system is racist under this theory because, despite formally guaranteeing equal protection, it is set up in such a way that black people end up getting arrested and incarcerated at wildly disproportionate rates. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The controversy around hoax studies in critical theory, explained," 15 Oct. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

24 Jan 2019

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The first known use of equal protection was in 1868

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with equal protection

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about equal protection

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