Equal Protection

The Equal Protection Clause is a section of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution that provides that "no state shall...deny to any citizen within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the... more +
The Equal Protection Clause is a section of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution that provides that "no state shall...deny to any citizen within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Essentially, the Equal Protection Clause provides that the government must treat an individual the same way that it treats other individuals in the same circumstances. The 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause applies only to state governments, but the requirements of the clause apply to the federal government through the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment. less -
News & Analysis as of

Another Constitutional Challenge to SEC Administrative Forum

The drumbeats of discontent grow louder against the SEC’s more frequent use of its internal administrative forum for enforcement cases. I wrote about the current spate of Constitutional challenges to the agency’s forum in an...more

Missouri Supreme Court Holds Statute Capping Punitive Damages Violates Right To Trial By Jury

On September 9, 2014, in a unanimous opinion authored by the Honorable Patricia Breckenridge, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a Missouri statute which imposed a cap on the amount of punitive damages...more

When A Judge Declares A Statute Unconstitutional, What’s An Agency To Do?

In the recent California gubernatorial debate, Governor Jerry Brown defended his decision to appeal Judge Rolf M. True’s ruling in Vergara v. California, Cal. Super. Ct. Case No. BC484642 (June 10, 2014). The case has...more

An Update of Flow Control Jurisprudence since United Haulers

Since United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 550 U.S. 330, 344 (2007), most courts have upheld local flow control ordinances as constitutional under that holding. ...more

The Expanding Ash Heap of History

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that...more

Bills and Cases and Executive Orders, Oh my! Following the Road to LGBT Equal Protection

This summer has been hot in temperature, but also in topics especially when it comes to balancing equal protection with sincerely held religious beliefs. A recent bill, Supreme Court decision, and Executive Order each show...more

State Tax Implications of Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Rejecting Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated Virginia’s prohibition on same-sex marriages. Bostic v. Schaefer, Docket No. 14-1167 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014). The Fourth Circuit includes Virginia, Maryland,...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...more

Lake County, Illinois “Hat Trick”* Defeats Religious Meditation House in Federal Suit

In MAUM Meditation House of Truth v. Lake County, Illinois, No. 13-cv-3794 (N.D. Ill. 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Lake County, Illinois did not violate MAUM...more

CFIUS Process and Due Process: Presidential orders blocking transactions on national security grounds – the process, and the...

The President of the United States, acting upon the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) has the power to block or unwind any transaction – i.e., merger, acquisition, takeover...more

Same-Sex Marriage Recognized as Valid in Non-Recognition State for Purposes of Interpreting the Bankruptcy Code

As a result of two Federal trial court decisions issued May 19, 2014 and May 20, 2014, Oregon and Pennsylvania became the 18th and 19th states where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry. In these decisions, U.S....more

Fur Flies and West Hollywood (“WeHo”) Fur Ban Is Upheld By Federal Court

West Hollywood, California’s controversial law banning the sale of fur within city limits survived a legal challenge by a luxury retailer last month. A federal court dismissed the action brought by Mayfair House Inc., a...more

Vergara v. California: Part Two: Is Tenure in Connecticut At Risk?

As discussed in a prior post, the recent decision in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al., will, if upheld on appeal, eviscerate California’s public school teacher tenure law. Given that 46 states have some...more

Judge Strikes Down California Teacher Tenure Laws as Unconstitutional - Business-as-usual for school districts while ruling is...

California teacher tenure, firing and layoff laws violate the state constitution, a judge has ruled in a closely watched case that may have significant ramifications for school districts, education departments and lawmakers....more

Vergara v. California: Its Real Meaning

The media has missed the fact that Vergara is not primarily a case about tenure....more

Impact of the 'Students First' Decision on Non-Teacher Employees of School Districts

Judge Rolf Treu’s decision in the Students First case is effectively an indictment of the termination process of all California public school employees, not just teachers....more

Vergara v. State of California Exposes Constitutional Flaws In Public Teacher Tenure Laws

A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge ruled Tuesday in Vergara v. State of California that teacher tenure laws in California are unconstitutional because they deprive students of their right to an education under the...more

Are Teacher Tenure and Seniority Really Unconstitutional?

If upheld on appeal, the trial court decision in Vergara v. State of California will make it easier for California school districts to keep new teachers in "at will" probationary status longer, to fire tenured teachers, and...more

L.A. Superior Court Rules Key Teacher Tenure, Dismissal, and Layoff Statutes Unconstitutional

In a much anticipated and well-publicized tentative ruling, the Los Angeles Superior Court (“trial court”) issued a tentative ruling on June 6, 2014 in Vergara v. State of California, Case. No. BC484642. Plaintiffs in the...more

Vergara v. California, and the Attenuation of Tenure, Part One: The Decision

In a landmark, June 10, 2014 decision that could set off a wave of similar litigation across the country, a California Superior Court judge ruled in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al. that a number of...more

California Court Finds Teacher Tenure, Layoff, and Dismissal Laws Unconstitutional

School leaders across the country are buzzing about a California Superior Court’s recent tentative ruling that the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoff laws violate the equal protection clause of the California...more

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

U.S. Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Pennsylvania

Today, a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania nullified Pennsylvania’s Marriage Laws, holding that they violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If the ruling stands...more

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Resulting in Significant Impact on Employee Benefit Plans

On May 20, 2014, a federal judge in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf struck down both Pennsylvania's ban on marriage for same-sex couples and its prohibition against recognition of same-sex marriages legally entered into in...more

Voter ID Law Strike Down A Victory For Justice

When a federal judge ruled that a voter ID law citing it violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, they upheld the rights of all in the face of political motives. Those who support such laws do not...more

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