Learn about the Constitution’s core equality principle, the tiers of scrutiny that the Supreme Court has identified to govern it, and the specific types of discrimination that the Court has suggested should receive “heightened scrutiny.”
Although it didn’t become part of the Constitution until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, the Equal Protection Clause has become one of the most important individual rights enshrined in the Constitution. This is true even as controversy persists over the scope of its cryptic promise that, quote, “[n]o state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” unquote. And yet, although hard questions remain at the margins, the...