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Encyclopedia > Strict scrutiny

Strict scrutiny is the highest standard of judicial review used by courts in the United States. Along with the lower standards of rational basis review and intermediate scrutiny, strict scrutiny is part of a hierarchy of standards courts employ to weigh an asserted government interest against a constitutional right or policy that conflicts with the manner in which the interest is being pursued. Strict scrutiny is applied based on the constitutional conflict at issue, regardless of whether a law or action of the U.S. federal government, a state government, or a local municipality is at issue. It arises in two basic contexts: when a "fundamental" constitutional right is infringed, particularly those listed in the Bill of Rights; or when the government action involves the use of a "suspect classification" such as race or national origin that may render it void under the Equal Protection Clause. Judicial review is the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice. ... Rational basis rest, in U.S. constitutional law, is the lowest level of scrutiny applied by courts deciding constitutional issues through judicial review. ... Intermediate scrutiny, in U.S. constitutional law, is the middle level of scrutiny applied by courts deciding constitutional issues through judicial review. ... Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. ... In the process of making laws, legislatures sometimes establish classifications that give one group an advantage over another. ... For other uses, see Race (disambiguation). ... The Equal Protection Clause is a part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, providing that no state shall . ...

To pass strict scrutiny, the law or policy must satisfy three prongs. First, it must be justified by a compelling governmental interest. While the Courts have never brightly defined how to determine if an interest is compelling, the concept generally refers to something necessary or crucial, as opposed to something merely preferred. Examples include national security, preserving the lives of multiple individuals, and not violating explicit constitutional protections. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Second, the law or policy must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal or interest. If the government action encompasses too much (over-inclusive) or fails to address essential aspects of the compelling interest (under-inclusive), then the rule is not considered narrowly tailored. Finally, the law or policy must be the least restrictive means for achieving that interest. More accurately, there cannot be a less restrictive way to effectively achieve the compelling government interest, but the test will not fail just because there is another method that is equally the least restrictive. Some legal scholars consider this 'least restrictive means' requirement part of being narrowly tailored, though the Court generally evaluates it as a separate prong.

Legal scholars, including judges and professors, often say that strict scrutiny is "strict in theory, fatal in fact," because most laws that are subject to that highest standard are struck down. One exception is the Supreme Court's widely criticized opinion in Korematsu v. United States, upholding as constitutional the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Case opinions Laws applied Executive Order 9066 Korematsu v. ... Serving from 1999 to 2003, Army General Eric Shinseki of Hawaii became the first Asian American military chief of staff. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...

De jure versus de facto discrimination

As applied in Korematsu, strict scrutiny was limited to instances of de jure discrimination, where a racial classification is written into the language of a statute. Justice Byron White, in Washington v. Davis (1976), also applies the test to instances where such an explicit classification is not made, but where disproportional impact is coupled with discriminatory intent. In doing so, he suggests that such intent elevates a seemingly de facto form of discrimination to a more invidious de jure form. Look up De jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The terms de jure and de facto are used instead of in principle and in practice, respectively, when one is describing political situations. ... Byron White, official portrait. ... Washington v. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Look up De jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The terms de jure and de facto are used instead of in principle and in practice, respectively, when one is describing political situations. ...

The Court's decision in Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. provided further definition to the concept of intent and clarified three particular areas in which intent becomes apparent, the presence of any of which demands the harsher equal protection test. If the impact is so “stark and dramatic" as to be unexplainable on non racial grounds as in Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the historical background suggests intent, or the legislative and administrative records show intent, the Court must use strict scrutiny. Holding Racially discriminatory application of a facially neutral statute violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ...

  United States Constitution Complete text at WikiSource

Original text: Preamble | Article 1 | Article 2 | Article 3 | Article 4 | Article 5 | Article 6 | Article 7 Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... The Preamble to the United States Constitution consists of a single sentence (a preamble) that introduces the document and its purpose. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the United States government, known as the Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article Two of the United States Constitution Article Two of the United States Constitution creates the executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive officers. ... Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal (national) government. ... Article Four of the United States Constitution relates to the states. ... Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process whereby the Constitution may be altered. ... Article Six establishes the United States Constitution and the laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it as the supreme law of the land, and fulfills other purposes. ... Article Seven of the United States Constitution describes the process by which the entire document is to be ratified and take effect. ...

Amendments: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27
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 Interpretation  Congressional power of enforcement | Double jeopardy | Enumerated powers | Incorporation of the Bill of Rights | Nondelegation | Preemption | Separation of church and state | Separation of powers | Constitutional theory

  Results from FactBites:
Censorware: Legal: Loudoun (2332 words)
Relatively few laws survive strict scrutiny; the test is harsh enough that very few government actions restricting speech pass it, since few policy-makers take into consideration the hurdles that must be met before speech can be restricted.
Judge Brinkema confirmed that strict scrutiny was the appropriate test of the Loudoun use of censorware.
The board claimed that its policy should survive strict scrutiny because it was narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest.
  More results at FactBites »



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