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Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

2010

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Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2010

Contingent Equal Protection: Reaching For Equality After Ricci And Pics, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article uses the term contingent equal protection to describe the constitutional analysis that applies to a range of governmental efforts to ameliorate race and sex hierarchies. "Contingent" refers to the fact that the equal protection analysis is contingent upon the existence of structural, de facto inequality. Contingent equal protection cases include those that involve explicit race and sex classifications, facially neutral efforts to reduce inequality, and accommodation of sex differences to promote equality. Uniting all three kinds of cases under a single conceptual umbrella reveals the implications that developments in one area can have for the other two.