suspect class

noun

Legal Definition of suspect class

: a class of individuals marked by immutable characteristics (as of race or national origin) and entitled to equal protection of the law by means of judicial scrutiny of a classification that discriminates against or otherwise burdens or affects them a classification that does not impact a suspect class or impinge upon a fundamental constitutional right will be upheld if it is rationally related to a legitimate government interestDoe v. Poritz, 622 A.2d 367 (1995)

called also protected class

— see also suspect classification

Note: Suspect class and suspect classification are often used synonymously in regard to a group of persons, but suspect class does not refer to the process of classifying itself.

Learn More about suspect class

Cite this Entry

“Suspect class.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/suspect%20class. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on suspect class

What made you want to look up suspect class? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!