Equal Protection. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. "Originalism and Loving v. Virginia", For a summary of the social, political and historical background to, For a skeptical evaluation of Harlan, see, For a comprehensive history of school desegregation from, Reynolds, Troy. [6] Currently, a plurality of historians believe that this judicial decision set the United States on the path to the Civil War, which led to the ratifications of the Reconstruction Amendments. . As a brief overview, the clause refers to the fact that all citizens of the United States are guaranteed equal protection under the laws of the United States. In other words, the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as other people in similar conditions and circumstances. However, even though allaying fears of the neighborhood may be legitimate in its own right, the Court saw this as the government making a law simply out of animus and disdain for the mentally disabled. 106 (1949), Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), Williamson v. Lee Optical Co., 348 U.S. 483 (1955), Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978), Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718 (1982), City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432 (1985), City of Richmond v. J. [Emphasis in the original.]. John A. Bingham, the primary author of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, did not believe that Congress had the constitutional authority to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and he therefore intended to provide congressional authority for that enactment by constitutional amendment. study [83] Other scholars disagree, arguing that "homophobia" is distinct from sexism, in a sociological sense, and so treating it as such would be an unacceptable judicial shortcut. The Equal Protection Clause burst into new prominence in the mid-twentieth century with the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, invalidating segregated public education and signaling the end of the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). 546 (No. The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, decided that the Fourteenth Amendment did prohibit such unequal treatment on the basis of sex⁠—the first US Supreme Court decision to apply the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause to gender or sexual distinctions. Lawrence v. Texas (2003). Thus the court devolved authority to local school boards and to the trial courts that had originally heard the cases. [13], With the return to originalist interpretations of the Constitution, many wonder what was intended by the framers of the reconstruction amendments at the time of their ratification. Although some interpret this language as implying a creep toward strict scrutiny for sex classifications, officially sex remains subject to intermediary scrutiny. Procedural due process guarantees fairness to all individuals. Actions by the federal government, however, that classify individuals in a discriminatory manner will, under similar circumstances, violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The 14th Amendment provides, in part, that no state can "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." "[22] The main opponent of the first version was Congressman Robert S. Hale of New York, despite Bingham's public assurances that "under no possible interpretation can it ever be made to operate in the State of New York while she occupies her present proud position. 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