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.” The Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/suspect%20class. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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

having a smooth flowing sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!