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Race and Equal Protection

This Lesson considers race under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as under other constitutional provisions, with the exception of "affirmative action" which is the subject of a separate lesson. It can be used as an introduction or as review.

The Lesson has five sections: it begins with an overview of slavery in constitutional law; Part II proceeds to the early cases under the Reconstruction Amendments; Part III concentrates on the development of the strict scrutiny standard; Part IV considers how seemingly neutral classifications may be deemed to be racial classifications; and the Conclusion in Part V contains questions to solidify the Lesson.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Recognize important aspects of the constitutional history before and after the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
2. Articulate and apply the current standard for evaluating racial classifications.
3. Articulate and apply the current standard for determining whether an apparently nonracial classification should be evaluated as a racial classification.

Lesson Completion Time

80 minutes
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