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1997

Michigan Law Review

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Equal Protection, Class Legislation, And Colorblindness, Melissa L. Saunders Nov 1997

Equal Protection, Class Legislation, And Colorblindness, Melissa L. Saunders

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and judges have long assumed that the Equal Protection Clause is concerned only with state action that has the effect of singling out certain persons or groups of persons for special benefits or burdens. Under the traditional doctrinal framework, state action that has this purpose and effect bears a certain burden of justification under the clause, a burden whose stringency varies, depending on the criteria used to define the class being singled out for special treatment and the importance of the interest affected. But state action that lacks such a "discriminatory effect" is not, on the traditional understanding, subject ...