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Racial discrimination

2015

Fourteenth Amendment

University of Michigan Law School

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Functionally Suspect: Reconceptualizing "Race" As A Suspect Classification, Lauren Sudeall Lucas Sep 2015

Functionally Suspect: Reconceptualizing "Race" As A Suspect Classification, Lauren Sudeall Lucas

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the context of equal protection doctrine, race has become untethered from the criteria underlying its demarcation as a classification warranting heightened scrutiny. As a result, it is no longer an effective vehicle for challenging the existing social and political order; instead, its primary purpose under current doctrine is to signal the presence of an impermissible basis for differential treatment. This Symposium Article suggests that, to more effectively serve its underlying normative goals, equal protection should prohibit not discrimination based on race per se, but government actions that implicate the concerns leading to race’s designation as a suspect classification. For …